Los Angeles: In the Spring of 2004, Professional Standards Bureau, Ethics Enforcement Section, initiated an undercover sting operation on Police Officer II Edwin Lee.
On May 4, 2004, Officer Lee, assigned to Rampart Division, met with a female Korean immigrant who reported that she paid $7,500 to a self-professed attorney who promised to help her obtain her citizenship. Because she never heard back from the self-professed attorney, she attempted to file a police report with Korean speaking Officer Lee. Officer Lee told the victim that it would cost her $500 to file the report. She told Lee that she would return at a later date. However, she decided to report him to LAPD’s Professional Standards Bureau.
Ethics Enforcement Section immediately initiated an undercover sting operation on Officer Lee and asked the victim to return to the station on July 29th. After he received $500 in recorded currency, Lee completed a police report that stated the victim had been receiving death threats. Investigating detectives determined that the victim received no such threats.
On July 30, 2004, after he left work, Officer Lee was arrested and charged with a felony count of filing a false police report and a misdemeanor count of bribery.
Yesterday, Lee pleaded no contest to the felony charge and was immediately sentenced by a Superior Court Judge to 90 days in county jail. Lee was also placed on three years formal probation and ordered to resign as a police officer. Lee will begin serving his sentence on April 29, 2005.
The misdemeanor count was dismissed.
Officer Lee, a 7-year veteran of the LAPD, has been relieved of duty without pay and is assigned to home, as the Department has already begun the process to terminate him.
Chief William J. Bratton stated, "This latest sting arrest and conviction is a clear example of the reforms that are taking place under the Consent Decree, and proof that the Department is capable of cleaning its own house. Deputy Chief Mike Berkow and the staff of Professional Standards Bureau are to be commended for their work."