Sacto 9-1-1
February 7, 2013
South Lake Tahoe police officer indicted for witness tampering

A South Lake Tahoe police officer was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Sacramento for multiple counts of witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding.

John Gerald Poland, 44, was arrested Jan. 23 following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Lake Tahoe Police Department and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.

According to court documents, on June 29, 2011, Poland, interfered with a federal investigation of a South Lake Tahoe gang member. Poland is alleged to have persuaded the gang member's girlfriend to conceal and destroy evidence.

In October and November 2011, Poland is alleged to have again tampered with this witness in an investigation into Poland's own conduct as well as the conduct of the gang member. He also is alleged to have instructed another witness to conceal and destroy evidence rather than provide it to federal authorities.

Poland is further charged with corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating and concealing evidence material to an official proceeding.

If convicted, Poland could face up to 20 years in prison for each count, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

He is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 14 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman.

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