Michael Koch officer at the Carlsbad Police Department has admitted to charges he stole heroin from the department’s evidence room. Koch pled guilty last week to one felony count of second-degree burglary. San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Paul Azevedo said the officer will likely receive probation.
The Carlsbad Police Department Internal Affairs unit is still conducting their investigation, according to a recent report by the North County Times. Koch will continue to draw his $86,000 annual salary until the investigation concludes.
Koch, an 18-year veteran of the department once worked as a narcotics detective and vice officer. In Jan. 2011 two department employees reported seeing him steal heroin and other drugs from the evidence room. Koch was subsequently arrested and agreed to seek help for his addition. Carlsbad City Councilman Keith Blackbern said he is pleased to see the former detective took responsibility for his actions by entering a plea of guilty.
Some community members have voiced distaste at Koch continuing to draw his salary while on suspension. Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall said the city’s hands were tied on the matter, citing the need to follow state law and statutes. He has promised to ensure the investigation will be expedited as much as possible.