CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Police Chief has announced the suspension of one of the county’s detectives, who is now on administrative leave.
Chief Jeffrey Katz shared the announcement in a Facebook post the night of Feb. 24.
During a search warrant application process for an investigation, Katz said that the unnamed detective completed an affidavit to authorize obtaining a search warrant.
Katz said that the details on the affidavit were true and accurate, but added that when the detective took it upon himself to write out the search warrant– a task that “the magistrate generally does after reading and approving the affidavit”– the detective left blank the description of the items he was intending to search for.
The search warrants were approved by a magistrate, and several arrests were made based on the contraband seized.
After the searches were complete, the detective noticed that the information on the items to be searched was outlined in the affidavit, but was not filled out on the search warrant. Katz said the detective proceeded to fill in the form himself with the missing information and submitted the warrants for filling with the courts.
Katz continued on to say that the information needed to establish probable cause for the search did not change, however, the omission of information –missed by both the detective and the magistrate– was added after the warrant was given and completed.
“This modification of a public document is inappropriate and potentially illegal, Katz relayed in the post. “This conduct falls outside of my expectations and our standards of conduct. What had been a simple mistake was compounded into a profound credibility challenge.”
Katz said that upon learning of the incident, the detective was immediately placed on administrative leave and his police powers were suspended. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney has dismissed all criminal charges that were associated with the investigation, and police are working with the organization to review any other cases the detective has worked.