A narcotics detective who lives in Danville pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of illegally transporting and furnishing the sale of marijuana.
San Leandro Chief of Police said during a press conference Friday afternoon that the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal charge against San Leandro Police Detective Jason William Fredriksson, 38, alleging he provided marijuana to a confidential informant for sale.
Police said on March 10 he provided more than one pound of marijuana to a female informant with whom he had a "personal relationship." She is a San Leandro resident but is not an employee of the department.
Fredriksson was admitted into police custody after surrendering Friday about 12:30 p.m. to the Hayward Hall of Justice on a $50,000 warrant for his arrest.
During his arraignment Friday afternoon in Hayward he pleaded not guilty to the felony charge against him. A judge reduced his bail to $40,000, over the objections of the prosecution, which he later posted.
His pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 14.
In an ongoing, unrelated scandal shaking Contra Costa County's law enforcement community, two police officers, from Danville and San Ramon; a former drug task force commander; and a Concord private investigator and former Antioch police officer have been on multiple felony counts, including the theft and sale of illegal drugs from evidence lockers.
Investigators are still trying to determine where the marijuana Fredriksson reportedly had came from, Spagnoli said.
Five days after Fredriksson is accused of having delivered the pound of marijuana, the SLPD vice/narcotics unit, confiscating nearly 1,000 plants in a Washington Avenue office building.
It isn't known whether Fredriksson was involved in the March 15 raid. In the Contra Costa law enforcement scandal, more than a dozen cases involving the officers who were arrested on drug charges have been dropped or prosecutors have declined to file charges.
Fredriksson has been a member of the department since July 2002 and has worked as one of three detectives with the vice/narcotics unit for nearly three years.
Prior to his time at SLPD, he worked for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for two years. He grew up in the San Ramon Valley and is a 1991 graduate of Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek.
His father is retired from the San Francisco Police department; his mother is retired from a job as a preschool director in Alamo.
An avid motorcyclist and hot rod car enthusiast, Fredriksson is known to his friends as "Big Dirty."
According to police, the department first learned that Fredriksson might be involved with the illegal sale and distribution of marijuana on March 18, when Spagnoli said she was "personally notified" of the allegations by a San Leandro resident who was not the police informant.
The police department, along with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, immediately began a criminal investigation.
Fredriksson was placed on paid administrative leave March 21, and police searched his Danville home two days later, police said. Coincidentally, the day his Danville home was being searched, San Ramon Police were holding a press conference to announce the arrest of a police officer on drug sale charges in the Contra Costa County law enforcement scandal.
Spagnoli would not say what officers found but that they seized "items supporting the allegation."
The department is also conducting an internal administrative investigation of the allegations, in addition to reviewing overall operations of the vice/narcotic unit.
Fredriksson's wife of two years, Sheryll Cofreros Fredriksson, is a San Leandro Police dispatcher and was named "Dispatcher of the Year" in 2007.
She was also placed on administrative leave pending "matters concerning allegations against her," Spagnoli said, though she added the investigation is for administrative purposes and said police have not found a direct connection to her husband's alleged conduct.
"We believe Officer Fredriksson acted alone in this case," she said.
Spagnoli called the matter "extremely disappointing."
"The San Leandro Police Department will not tolerate and deplores the conduct that has been alleged to have been engaged in by Officer Fredriksson," she said.
Mayor Stephen Cassidy released a statement earlier Friday commending the department for taking immediate action.
"Chief Spagnoli and the Police Department have handled the investigation in a professional manner and reaffirmed that any criminal or unethical behavior by those we entrust to serve and protect our community will not be tolerated," he said.
Fredriksson's attorney is Harry Stern, a member of the Pleasant Hill-based law firm Rains Lucia Stern, which is known for defending police officers.
Stern told the San Francisco Chronicle that "The evidence against my client is thin and circumstantial." He also said Fredriksson's relationship with the informant, which is under investigation, constituted a romantic affair but called it "unfortunate, nothing more, nothing less."
He is the same attorney who is representing San Ramon Police Officer Lou Lombardi, the one whose arrest was announced the same day Fredriksson's house was searched.
Lombardi, also 38, is charged with several felonies — including conspiracy to sell drugs — in connection with the widening scandal involving the now-suspended Central Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team.
Patch will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.