A San Luis Obispo Police Department officer, whose cases resulted in a number of questionable arrests and prosecutions—if not always convictions—has had his day in court, and now he’s going to serve time.
The result of his conviction on a federal extortion charge: 18 months—far less of a punishment than those dealt to some of the defendants living with punitive burdens and asset forfeiture for arrests under his watch.
Cory Pierce, 40, a resident of Arroyo Grande, was a six-year veteran of the SLOPD and a past member of the county’s Narcotics Task Force before he got pinched for pilfering the Sheriff’s Department’s evidence locker room and using confidential informants to sell both real and fake drugs, which he had stolen to make money and fund his own opiate habit, according to prosecutors.
He was sentenced Dec. 9 by U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow to the aforementioned term plus three years of supervised release and $5,500 in restitution. He will begin serving his sentence Jan. 27.
As part of his plea agreement, Pierce admitted to using his position as a police officer to obtain $11,000 from a drug dealer in exchange for placebo OxyContin pills.
According to Sheriff Ian Parkinson and SLOPD Chief Steve Gesell, the investigation was spurred by the local agencies, who notified the FBI and conducted an investigation without tipping Pierce off.
According to Thom Mrozek, assistant to the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case, the matter of where Pierce will likely serve his time is up to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
Gesell has stated publicly he will see to it Pierce will never work as a law enforcement officer again.