San Ramon Police Officer Arrested

Investigator says patrol officer Louis Lombardi took part in a CNET scandal involving drugs and weapons.

A San Ramon police officer has been arrested on five felony counts in connection with a scandal involving several law-enforcement officers in Contra Costa County.

Police arrested patrol officer Louis "Lou" Lombardi, 38, when he came in to work Wednesday morning, according to San Ramon Police Chief Scott Holder.

Lombardi was booked at the county jail in Martinez on suspicion of conspiracy, grand theft of weapons and drugs, possession of stolen property and keeping an illegal assault rifle. He is being held in lieu of $760,000 bail.

"This is a dark day for not only the San Ramon Police Department but for all of law enforcement," Holder told a roomful of reporters Wednesday evening. "The action of one is not a reflection of the integrity of the outstanding men and women who serve our city. We are all saddened by the actions of our officer, yet we remain focused on continuing to be the professional organization we have been and will continue to be."

Lombardi's arrest comes after those of former CNET commander

The three men used to work for the Antioch Police Department. All were named in a 34-count criminal complaint.

Wielsch and Butler, both 49, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of conspiracy; selling methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids; and possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids for sale.

Butler is suspected of organizing drug sales, using what Wielsch allegedly nabbed from evidence lockers.

Court records also accuse Tanabe of helping to sell steroids.

Butler and Tanabe also are implicated in what's being called a "dirty DUI" scheme, in which Butler hired attractive women to convince men to drink at bars and follow the women home. Investigators say Butler would then call Tanabe, who would pull the men over and arrest them on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The alleged DUI scheme also involved arrests by other law enforcement officers of men Butler targeted at bars in Concord and Clayton, but in those cases, the officers were apparently unaware of the trap.

When Butler and Wielsch were arrested, there was no indication that other officers were involved, said Holder, who's chairman of CNET.

On March 15, police got information that Lombardi, who used to work under Wielsch as a CNET narcotics agent, may have played a part in the scandal, Holder said.

San Ramon police and the district attorney's office then started looking into Lombardi's possible involvement.

Authorities served a search warrant at Lombardi's Discovery Bay home after arresting him when he showed up to work at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Holder would not release details about the case because it's an active investigation.

Lombardi has been placed on administrative leave. He was hired by the San Ramon department in 2007, when the city founded its police force. Before that, he had worked as a Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy since 1998.

“I’ve known him for many years, and it’s a sad day for us, but we’re going to get through this and in the end, our department will survive," Holder said.

– Bay City News contributed to this report

Dena R June 01, 2011 at 02:06 AM
You all are some grown people, act like it!
Kalani Schreiner June 01, 2011 at 02:24 AM
Amen to that!
Terry Steinman June 03, 2011 at 11:27 AM
Mr. Schreiner, Thank you for your response. I wish you nothing but good luck in your "second career" and hope you are past all of your health troubles. As far as what's going on in the city in which I live I hope the police department can get past what they find themselves in and certainly hope Officer Lombardi is the only bad apple in the barrel. I truly do as my interactions with San Ramon officers over the years has been nothing short of professional and pleasant I don't think they are all bad. Should we find it's a systemic problem with other officers involved I would be trul disappointed as I've held them in high regard in comparison to other neighboring agencies. I guess time will tell. Again, I wish you good health and peace to you. Terry
jim April 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM
These cops are the ones out there raiding drug houses, [to arrest drug dealers] and then steal not only the drugs,but personal property, to keep for themselves, and then do it again each raid, they put people in jail for drugs that were never turned in as evidence, the sad part about the whole deal is the fact that ,all police do things exactly like this everyday there on the job,maybe not at the same level,but cops love to arrest anyone for a DUI,and a DUI can ruin a life for years, then that cop goes out drinking himself after his shift and drives home after,does he get a DUI. NO he doesnt cause hes a cop and he can do it , YOU CANT, double standard ,i hope they put all these envolved away for the rest of there lives,thats what they deserve ,i hate cops,there all pricks
Kelvin May 09, 2013 at 08:55 AM
The San Ramon police department is crooked in it's entirety. These "fine" officers are prejudice, profiling, lying, and stealing. Our community knows all of this, however, citizens are living in fear and are intimidated by these very officers into not speaking out against all of the wrong that is being committed in the city. Any person who lives in the great city knows that our law enforcement officers diminish any value that we have as a whole.


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