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Former San Ramon Officer Gets Three Years in Prison for CNET Scandal

Former officer Louis Lombardi pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing and selling drugs and stolen firearms and to four misdemeanor counts for stealing thousands of dollars in cash and property during searches of suspects' homes.

Bay City News Service

A federal judge sentenced a former San Ramon police officer to three years in prison Friday for his involvement in a Contra Costa County law enforcement scandal.

Louis Lombardi, 39, was convicted in January after admitting to four misdemeanor counts for stealing thousands of dollars in cash and property during searches of suspects' homes.

He also pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing and selling drugs and stolen firearms while he worked on the Central Contra Costa County Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET.

U.S. District Judge Saundra B. Armstrong sentenced Lombardi to the prison term and ordered him to pay $7,500 to the city of San Ramon during a hearing in Oakland today.

Lombardi will serve the term in a federal prison in Oregon. His attorney, Dirk Manoukian, had asked for Lombardi to be placed there to avoid being incarcerated with some of the criminals he dealt with as a police officer.

The judge was also expected this afternoon to receive a guilty plea from Christopher Butler, 50, a private detective and former police officer.

Along with two other former police officers, the pair was indicted in federal court last year for a series of crimes that included stealing cash, guns and drugs during search warrant operations.

Butler, a former Antioch police officer, was charged with conspiracy; selling methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids; and possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids for sale.

Michael D. Brown May 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM
damn all he got was 3yrs? that is completely ridiculous, it's disgusting to see this kind of abuse of power, am I surprised? no, but that doesn't change the fact that someone who's job it is to enforce the law should be held to a greater standard, not to mention abusing his position as an officer to seal, and he's only being charged with a misdemeanor for stealing thousands of dollars? this make's no sense, if he stole thousands, how is this not grand theft?
Mbug May 04, 2012 at 11:40 PM
I agree with you Mike, it's outrageous.
Trevor Tooze May 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I am a big supporter of our local police forces, but a bad apple sometimes appears amongst them. This was a bad apple that was rotten to the core., who should have had a much tougher sentence. I would have jailed him, then thrown away the key. His drug selling, more than likely got into the hands of some of our youth, and he broke the trust of the whole community. Pretty disgusting result to this trial.
Marc King May 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I couldn't have said it better
Jim McSharry May 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
The obvious double standard is clearly visable in this. And to allow him to serve his sentence in Oregon? This judge needs to go!
James Buckley May 06, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Your Livermore P D has had some questionable officers along with all other P D departments nation wide, They are JUST people doing a job and all of you know questionable people YOU work with in the private sector. Bad apples are on the rise with a society that has transformed over the years to contain less moral fiber. Sixty years ago Mom stayed home to raise the kids and the family never missed church on Sunday. Thats all changed now and the quality of law inforcement has suffered along with the private sector. Blind faith in your law inforcement leads to the bad apples getting away with more abuse of the system and the people they are protecting. The modern world of cell cameras has helped to expose some wrong doings by law enforcement, and we all should report any questionable conduct by officers we happen to have been a witness to in order to have poor quality officers removed from the job. No different than the same situation of letting go poor quality employees in the private sector.
Robert May 06, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Ditto Michael....3 yrs was like a slap on the wrist.
Mark Tarte May 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
James, I agree with your sentiments. I am a retired cop and frankly, this guy should be doing 10 or more years. Of course, it was a plea bargain that got him a reduced sentence. Unfortunately, over 90% of all cases end in a plea, bad cop or not. If every defendant opted for a trial that was charged, our court system would grind to a halt. Not enough of courtrooms, DAs or defense lawyers in the world to handle the sheer number of cases that scenario would create. I do disagree with the term "bad apple." A bad apple is someone who has run afoul of some rule or regulation and with proper discipline or training, is on the right track. This guy stopped being a cop the moment he committed a criminal act and therefore is nothing but a lowlife criminal.
Linda Mosier May 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
You are absolutely right Mike. It's DESPICABLE!! In my opinion it IS grand theft. Based on the leniency I'm sure we will hear of more cases like this. Power and greed.
Linda Mosier May 06, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Amen!
Linda Mosier May 06, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Mark, Well put.... however, last time I checked "Bad Apples" go rotten. Can't say I've ever seen one turn bright, shinny, sweet and delicious. Hence the term. Perhaps your definition of this guy is "good man that made a few bad choices". I believe (like James states) his behavior warrrants the term "Bad Apple"
Ryan Sherman May 06, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Mark, I know it says Oregon, but something tells me word may get around....
Shawn May 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Yes, three years is way to light. Article doesnt say what the $7500 is for, but it seems way to light as well. City of San Ramon should sue Lombardi for theft of time and recover some of what it paid him while he was not performing the duty he swore to perform.
Mbug January 03, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Just wondering why there was even a plea deal and so low? Were any of he charges felonies? Didn't the prosecutor think the case was strong enough to ask for more time and shown they were willing to go to trial? I understand the comment by Mr. Tarte,(also I agree with the 10 yrs or more) but it would seem as though this would have been a case worth the time, effort and tax payer money, instead of pleading it out. This was shocking to the whole system, to the public (me) and to police departments everywhere, that cringed that officers would turn so bad. I just think the public deserved to at least "feel" like this wasn't going to go unchecked, and I feel like the "public", (me) didn't get that. Is 3 yrs the average sentence of what each of them received? It's stuff like this that just makes it harder not to think that some people get special treatment.

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