Report: FBI arrests Antioch, Pittsburg cops under investigation in Thursday morning raids

For possible “crimes of moral turpitude” following federal grand jury indictment; APOA, Mayor Thorpe issue statements, he calls it “a dark day in our city’s history”; task force set up in parking lot of John Muir Health Brentwood Outpatient Center

By Allen D. Payton

According to an exclusive report by the Mercury News, the Antioch and Pittsburg police officers were arrested by the FBI during raids, Thursday morning, August, 17, 2023. The officers have been under investigation by both the FBI and Contra Costa DA’s Office since early 2022. That followed an indictment issued by the Federal Grand Jury in San Francisco on Wednesday. The details of the indictment have yet to be revealed but are expected to during a press conference scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today.

FBI task force drew a map of homes in the John Muir Health – Brentwood parking lot in preparation for their raids on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. Source chose to remain anonymous

Task Force Set Up at John Muir Health in Brentwood

According to a source who chose to remain anonymous, the FBI task force set up in the parking lot of John Muir Health’s Brentwood Outpatient Center on Balfour Road near Highway 4. There were about 20 cars carrying agents, two riot vehicles, and a Life Flight helicopter on stand-by.

As previously reported, the investigation was for alleged “crimes of moral turpitude” defined as “conduct that shocks the public conscience or, which does not fall within the moral standards held by the community.”

The names of the officers and details of their alleged crimes were inadvertently revealed in a report issued by the DA’s Office, earlier this year, that was not properly redacted.

The officers are being investigated “for violations of the following federal offenses; Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(A), distribution, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; Section 843(b) illegal use of the mail in furtherance of narcotic trafficking; Title 18, USC, 1503 Obstruction of Justice; Section 846, attempt and conspiracy to commit the foregoing offenses; Section 241, Conspiracy for two or more persons to agree to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in the United States in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege; and Section 242, a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. The CCCDAO is investigating these officers for assault under the color of authority, bribery, embezzlement, possession of controlled substances (steroids) for sale, knowing or offering any false or forged instruments, possession, and sales of assault weapons, and attempt and conspiracy to commit the foregoing offenses. The CCCDAO is also reviewing whether any of the above listed individuals have violated Penal Code (PC) section 745, the Racial Justice Act, which prohibits the use of race, ethnicity, or national origin by a law enforcement officer in pursuit of a conviction or sentence.”

The names of the officers under investigation by the FBI and DA revealed in the improperly redacted report were included in the following information:

“On 03/22/2022, the Honorable Presiding Judge Rebecca C. Hardie, Judge of the Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County, signed a search warrant under seal authored by CCCDAO Senior Inspector Larry J. Wallace for the seizure and search of the following cellular telephones: Pittsburg Police Officer Willie Glasper, (redacted phone number); Pittsburg Police Officer Brauli Rodriguez Jalapa, (redacted phone number); Pittsburg Police Officer Ernesto Juan Mejia-Orozco, (redacted phone number); Pittsburg Police Officer James Robert Anderson, (redacted phone number); Antioch Police Officer Ben C. Padilla, (redacted phone number); Antioch Police Officer Eric Rombough, (redacted phone number); Antioch Police Officer Devon Wenger, (redacted phone number); and Antioch Police Officer Andrea Rodriguez, (redacted phone number). The search warrants and affidavits were signed under seal and filed with the Martinez Superior Court.

On 03/22/22, the Honorable Laurel Beeler, United States Magistrate, Northern District of California, signed a federal search warrant under seal authored by FBI Special Agent (SA) Thuy Zoback for the seizure of the following cellular telephones: Pittsburg Police Officer Armando Montalvo; Pittsburg Police Officer Patrick Berhan; (now former) Antioch Police Officer Timothy Manly Williams; Antioch Police Officer Morteza Amiri, Antioch Police Officer Nicholas Shipilov; Antioch Police Officer Eric Rombough; Antioch Police Officer Daniel Harris; and Antioch Police Officer Calvin Prieto. The purpose of the search warrants were to seize electronic communications; such as, but not limited to the following: records and communications indicating the possession, use, purchase, sale, distribution, transfer, theft, and/or concealment of controlled substances, including books, receipts, notes, ledgers, pay and owe sheets, correspondence, records noting price, quantity, date and times when controlled substances were purchased, possessed, transferred, distributed, sold or concealed.

On 03/23/2022, sworn law enforcement members of the CCCDAO and the FBI retrieved the above listed cellular telephones from the above listed sworn law enforcement members of the Pittsburg and Antioch Police Departments. Law enforcement members from the CCCDAO and the FBI downloaded/extracted electronic cellular data communications from the above listed cellular telephones. A thorough review of the electronic cellular data communications took place for the past year.”

However, which officers were arrested Thursday morning has not yet been confirmed. The Antioch officers have been on paid administrative leave since the beginning of the investigation.

Antioch Police Officers Association Issues Statement

The Antioch Police Officers APOA issued a brief statement posted on their Facebook page Thursday morning. It reads, “The APOA has learned that several of our current and former members have been indicted by the FBI at the culmination of their investigation into members of the Antioch and Pittsburg Police Departments. We are saddened to learn of what has happened and look forward to the legal process playing itself out. We are committed to still providing quality service to the citizens of Antioch and also providing support for our members who are still working through this difficult time.

APOA Media Team”

Mayor Thorpe Says It’s “A Dark Day”

In a post on his campaign website, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe issued the following statement about the matter:

“Today is a dark day in our city’s history, as people trusted to uphold the law, allegedly breached that trust and were arrested by the FBI.

As our city absorbs this tragic news, we must come together as one. Today’s actions are the beginning of the end of a long and arduous process.

To those that have accused me and others of being anti-police for seeking to reform the Antioch Police Department, today’s arrests are demonstrative of the issues that have plagued the Antioch Police Department for decades.

Seeking to reform the Antioch Police Department is not anti-police, it is pro our residents, and pro officers that have served and continue to serve with honor.’

-Office of the Mayor”

Efforts to reach APOA’s attorney, Mike Rains, for comment were unsuccessful prior to publication time. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

FBI raid map on parking lot 081723

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