Local

Two men, including a Selma cop, arrested in pot bust

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two men, including a Selma police officer are under arrest on the other side of the country. They're accused of trying to sell marijuana to undercover cops.

Rick Sayles is off the job Tuesday night. He is being held without bail in Virginia. Investigators say he was hoping to sell a load worth $635 thousand. But he wasn't planning to sell it to undercover officers.

A cross country journey ended in handcuffs and potentially long prison sentences for Selma Police Officer Rick Sayles, former Selma officer Gabriel Sepeda and David Flowers.

Selma City Councilman Dennis Lujan says the arrests have stunned the community. "We're puzzled to say the least about what's happened."

No one wanted to talk to Action News at the Selma home where Sayles lived. Late last week, the residence was also searched by Fresno County sheriff's detectives.

At the Selma Police Department, Chief Myron Dyck told Action News, "We are also doing an internal investigation. Officer Sayles has been a patrol officer for six years."

Alexandria Police say Sayles was armed during the drug bust, but not with his department issued handgun. Investigators believe the group expected to make one big sale on a shipment that originated in the Golden State.

Jody Donaldson with the Alexandria Police Department told Action News, "Talking with the detectives, the belief is that they had driven all the way from California to the northern Virginia area for this undercover narcotics operation."

Those who knew Sayles and Sepeda say there was nothing to indicate they led any type of criminal life on their personal time -- especially, of this magnitude.

"Officer Sayles is a fine officer and has never, never, we've never had an indication of any misconduct on his part," said Lujan. "And the other officer, Sepeda, or ex-officer Sepeda, when he was here, I thought he was one of the best officers we had."

The Selma Police chief isn't revealing much, including whether he plans to terminate Sayles anytime soon.

A preliminary hearing in Virginia has been set for next month.

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Tags:
crimetracker, drug bust, marijuana, selma, fresno county, virginia, local, sontaya rose
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