Feb 5, 2013 6:28 PM by Kelly Orsini, KSBY News

Police: officer charged with bribery was assigned to Sheriff's Narcotics Unit

We are learning more about the San Luis Obispo police detective arrested on federal bribery charges Tuesday morning.

According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department, Corey Pierce, 39, was arrested at a local FBI office and is currently on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Police say Pierce was most recently assigned to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit. The police department received a tip from the sheriff's office regarding possible criminal activity by Officer Pierce. They requested assistance from the FBI.

Police say Officer Pierce is accused of providing fake prescription pills to a confidential informant in exchange for cash. The alleged scheme included a plan for the informant to sell the placebo pills to a third party who would then sell them to unwitting customers. Police say the pills are made to resemble prescription drugs and are often used in drug enforcement operations. Police say there is no evidence any other officers were involved.

Officer Pierce joined the San Luis Obispo Police Department in 2006. At that time, he had a total of four years of prior law enforcement experience. In recent years he has been assigned to the California Bureau of Narcotics Task Force, which is now dissolved, and the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit.

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson expressed their appreciation to the FBI at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"Integrity is the cornerstone of policing. Without it, the public trust is compromised and we cannot hold true to our oath and commitment to serving our community. Today, I am deeply disappointed with the inevitable shadow these allegations cast over the hard work and professionalism exemplified by the members of this department, the Sheriff's Office and police officers across the country," Gesell said, "For these reasons, I offer an apology to the public and law enforcement community as well."

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