DA charges two officers as corrupt cops
Visalia police officers Bryan Ferreira and Shane Logan charged with 60 felony counts of corruption
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – Two Visalia police officers are accused of being corrupt cops and have been charged with 60 counts of conspiring to file false police reports and to submit unlawful search warrants over the course of a year.
Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward and Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar announced the charges against Officers Bryan Ferreira and Shane Logan at a press conference on Nov. 16 at the Visalia Emergency Communications Center.
“Whenever police officers are accused of committing these types of crimes, the ramifications reverberate throughout the criminal justice system, the entire law enforcement community, and, of course, throughout our entire Valley,” Ward said. “All of us shoulder the burden of the prospect of losing the public’s faith in our fine institutions when a police officer is accused of being corrupt.”
Ferreira was charged with 38 felony and five misdemeanor counts while Logan was charged with 22 felony counts he shared with Ferreira. The conspiracy charges result from the officers discussing and planning to file false police reports. The officers then filed false reports of drug sales that had never taken place. Those police reports were then the basis of search warrants that the officers submitted to and were granted by judges, resulting in the perjury charges. Those crimes stretched from May 2017 to April 2018. Additionally, the five misdemeanor charges for disclosing confidential records stemmed from Ferreira sharing DMV records regarding someone’s physical and mental condition between February and April 2018.
“The other 250 men and women that make up the Visalia Police Department are good, hardworking, honest people with integrity and respect in this community,” Chief Salazar said. “The fact that we are standing here today shows that [the system] works.”
Arrest warrants were issued on Nov. 16 and both defendants remanded themselves into custody at the Tulare County Pretrial Facility later that day. Logan made bail on Friday and Ferreira remains in custody. Ferreira was arraigned in Department 6 of Tulare County Superior Court by a Kings County judge on Monday, Nov. 19 to avoid any conflict of interest. Ferreira was given a reduced bail of $100,000 with conditions including no contact with any former informants or Logan.
Both Logan and Ferreira will be in court on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. for further proceedings at Tulare County Superior Court.
Ferreira faces up to 24 years and eight months in prison and Logan faces up to 11 years and four months in prison.
“These alleged criminal actions by these two officers are disturbing and insulting to the integrity that is associated with the badge that we wear,” Chief Salazar said. “These alleged behaviors are entirely unacceptable and extremely disappointing.”
Ward said the Tulare Police Department received information several months ago which caused them to have serious concerns of the conduct of the officers. This launched a joint investigation between Tulare PD and the District Attorney’s Office. Tulare Interim Police Chief Barry Jones loaned the DA’s Office a full-time detective to work exclusively on this investigation. Salazar said the Tulare Police Department is handling all of the criminal investigation and his department will not begin an administrative review of the officers to determine what internal policies and procedures were violated and ways to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“Their alleged criminal actions are in no way a reflection of the incredible work and reputation of the great men and women of the Visalia Police Department,” Chief Salazar said. “I am regretful that his has occurred.”
Chief Salazar said both officers were placed on administrative leave as soon as VPD was aware of the investigation in May.
“Chief Salazar has cooperated with our investigation fully and completely,” Ward said. “I have complete faith and confidence in Chief Salazar to lead this department through this tough time that these two reckless officers have created.”
The District Attorney’s Office has already dismissed more than 40 criminal cases, mostly narcotics cases, connected to the officers. Ward confirmed that the majority of those were filed and pending cases. “We anticipate that number to increase as our conviction review unit will now review recently closed cases that these defendants were associated with.”
Ward said, “I’m not aware, in the past six years that I’ve been DA, of our office having to dismiss up to 40 cases based on officer misconduct.”
Ward said his office will be disclosing a packet of reports to the Public Defender’s Office as well as the Law Office of David Allen, who oversees the county’s Conflict Panel, a group of private attorneys who handle overflow cases for the Public Defender’s office. Ward said any attorney that might have represented defendants in cases involving the two officers may also request the reports. Ward also encouraged the families of those arrested by the two officers to contact the DA’s Office.
Both officers are 37 years old, 13-year veterans of the department and both men have worked together in the narcotics unit for the last two years. Both had earned the honor as VPD’s Officer of the Year, with Ferreira receiving that honor earlier this year.
“This certainly has an effect on morale,” Salazar said, “but they are professionals and will continue to do their jobs, hold their heads high and continue to do what they were sworn to do. We are paid to deal with adversity and we will push through this.”