Ex-Raleigh police officer pleads guilty to drug, gun charges after selling cocaine while on duty, officials say
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) - An ex-Raleigh policeman pleaded guilty Monday to drug and gun charges after he distributed cocaine while working on duty, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Keven Rodriguez’s arrest came after Raleigh police received info from informants in late 2021 that Rodriguez was distributing drugs in Raleigh, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said.
On Jan. 24, 2022, Rodriguez sold cocaine to a confidential informant while he was on duty as a patrol officer, the news release said.
Monday, Rodriguez, who now faces at least 10 years in prison, pleaded guilty to three drug trafficking and firearms charges, officials said.
Easley said Rodriguez was in his uniform with his department-issued firearm and in his patrol vehicle when he arrived at the meeting in January last year, federal officials said.
At the meeting, an informant gave Rodriguez $2,600 for a substance that was later confirmed to be 56 grams of cocaine, Easley said.
Rodriguez also sold cocaine to the confidential informant on two other occasions, Feb. 2, 2022, and Feb. 8, 2022, while still employed with the Raleigh Police Department. Rodriguez was arrested on Feb. 23, 2022.
On Monday, Rodriguez also pleaded guilty to possession of contraband while in prison after a search of his Sampson County Jail cell found smoking paraphernalia, the news release said.
As a condition of his plea, Rodriguez has agreed to permanently surrender his law enforcement certification and will be permanently barred from any law enforcement certification in North Carolina from either the Criminal Justice Commission or the Sheriffs’ Commission. Rodriguez faces at least 10 years in prison when sentenced later this year.
“Mr. Rodriguez’s actions betrayed public trust, dishonored the oath he swore to uphold, and discredited his character,” said Raleigh Police Chief Estella D. Patterson. “I am pleased to see that justice was served and appropriately administered in this case. I am extremely grateful for the strong relationships with our local, state, and federal partners. Together, we will continue to remove individuals, such as Mr. Rodriquez, from our community and the law enforcement profession.”
Rodriguez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, distribution of a quantity of cocaine, use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and possession of contraband while in prison.
“He will never again wear the badge and never again tarnish the honorable profession of policing to which countless brave men and women have committed their lives. I commend the Raleigh Police Department for taking quick action when they first learned of the allegations against this rogue officer. That enabled us to move quickly to get a criminal off the streets and behind bars where he belongs,” Easley said in the news release.
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