Ex-LAPD Officer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

March 27, 2002

Los Angeles: Today, former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Ruben Palomares pled guilty in Federal Court to charges of Possession and Conspiracy to Purchase and Distribute 10 Kilograms of Cocaine. Palomares and four associates were arrested on June 8, 2001, following a three month long Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation. At the time of his arrest, Palomares, though a member of the Los Angeles Police Department at Northeast Community Police Station, was assigned to his home as the result of an unrelated administrative investigation. He had not been on a regular duty assignment with the Department for approximately one-year.
Ruben Palomares was arrested with Gabriela Loaiza, Dennis Garcia, Joe Garcia and Alvin Moon. The arrest occurred in San Ysidro, California. At the time of their arrests, the four were in possession of 10 kilograms of cocaine and $140,000.00 in cash. During the course of its investigation, the DEA was not aware that Palomares was a police officer. Palomares identified himself as an LAPD officer after his arrest.
Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks, commenting on Palomares’ arrest said, "We must acknowledge that the arrest and conviction of Palomares is a "black eye" to the law enforcement profession. However, we must also acknowledge that the vast majority of police officers, on a daily basis, conduct themselves with honor and integrity in service to the community, and in their personal lives. The LAPD will continue to aggressively pursue the investigation of officers who violate the law and will continue to cooperate with other agencies when such investigations are conducted by them."
Sentencing for Palomares and his co-defendants will take place on July 22, 2002, in the United States District Court, San Diego, California.
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace E. Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.