A former California deputy was sentenced on Wednesday for throwing away a urine test that proved a detained driver wasn’t on drugs – before trying to have her jailed anyway on suspicion she was high on methamphetamine.
Richard Charles Barrios III, 29, an ex-deputy with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, will spend a year behind bars for the stunt at his police station in November 2019, according to prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty in November to destroying physical matter.
The bizarre chain of events unfolded after Barrios pulled over the driver for a traffic violation and suspected she was on meth, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
Another deputy who arrived at the scene also believed the driver was high and she was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Throughout the ordeal, the woman vehemently denied she was intoxicated and Barrios promised to free her if her drug test came back negative, prosecutors said.
The woman supplied the deputy with a urine sample.
Barrios was caught on surveillance footage at the police station testing the sample and viewing the results before tossing the urine in the trash.
The deputy refused to reveal the test results to the woman and tried to have her booked into jail, but she complained to another deputy who found the discarded sample and test kit in the garbage, prosecutors said.
The kit showed the woman’s urine sample was negative for all controlled substances. She agreed to another test, which yielded the same results.
Deputies released the woman and afterward Barrios was later charged.