Prosecutors announced Thursday that a North Carolina police officer was arrested for selling cocaine while on duty in his uniform and patrol car.
Keven Rodriguez, 33 years old, is a Raleigh Police Department field operations officer and was charged with drug distribution and possessing a firearm in support of a drug trafficking offense. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina stated in a press release.
According to a criminal complaint, he has been with the department since July 2018.
Two confidential sources informed investigators that Rodriguez was a police officer who had been distributing narcotics in November 2021. This prompted an investigation.
According to the complaint, Rodriguez was invited by a confidential source to meet him at an abandoned car dealership on January 24th.
Rodriguez arrived in his patrol car at the meeting. Rodriguez arrived at the meeting wearing his uniform and a duty firearm.
Rodriguez was accused of giving them drugs after Rodriguez had given $2,600 to the source, according to the complaint.
They were found to contain 56 grams of cocaine.
Both the source and the vehicle were equipped with video and audio recording equipment.
Rodriguez could face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail and a maximum sentence to life imprisonment if convicted.
NBC News reached out to Rodriguez's lawyer for comment.
Police Chief Estella D. Patterson denounced the officer's actions at a news conference on Thursday.
She said, "The arrest Mr. Rodriguez is disappointing to me, Raleigh Police Department and citizens and residents in our community." "I have been firm in my words, and now in my actions, to hold employees responsible for any conduct that violates public trust or brings disrepute to this department."
Rodriguez wasn't arrested on Friday, but it was unclear why. According to the chief, he was placed on administrative duty before his arrest.
Patterson stated that he is still on administrative duty, but without pay, until the outcome of an investigation into internal affairs.