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South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Arrested For Witness Tampering After Lengthy Investigation

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Johnny Poland

Johnny Poland

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – A three-year investigation culminated with the arrest of a South Lake Tahoe police officer on Wednesday, the FBI said.

John “Johnny” Gerald Poland, 44, is accused of five counts of witness tampering.

According to the federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Poland engaged in an affair with a woman who was also in a relationship with a known gang member and that on several occasions he tipped her off in advance to police investigations into her boyfriend, Teofilo Garcia Uribe.

After the woman was called to testify in front of a grand jury, Poland was recorded telling her to destroy any evidence that might implicate him, according to the complaint. Poland was put on administrative leave in November 2011.

He also allegedly ran police checks at the woman’s request and provided another woman with whom he was romantically involved with her own police file.

Poland’s alleged misconduct occurred over a period of several years, including during his time as a school resource officer at South Tahoe High School from 2003-2006.

During that time, he allegedly had sexual relations with two underage female students. The criminal complaint states that he signed one of the girl’s yearbooks with “I love you” and “P.S. You don’t in bed.”

He attempted to influence one of the girls for her appearance before the grand jury, the complaint alleges.

The arrest is the product of an investigation by the FBI, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, and the California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement SLEDNET Task Force.

An FBI spokeswoman said her agency couldn’t comment on whether Poland could face additional state charges for his alleged sexual relations with the students.

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