LAPD Officer Is Arrested in Weapons Probe


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Drizzt
December 31, 2002, 04:11 PM
Copyright 2002 The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times


December 31, 2002 Tuesday Home Edition

SECTION: California Metro; Part 2; Page 4; Metro Desk

LENGTH: 420 words

HEADLINE: Los Angeles;
LAPD Officer Is Arrested in Weapons Probe;
West Valley patrolman allegedly failed to book intoevidence guns given to him for safekeeping. Silencer, assault riflesreportedly confiscated.

BYLINE: Andrew Blankstein and Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writers

BODY:
Responding to an anonymous tip, Los Angeles police arrested a West Valley Division patrol officer on suspicion of possessing an illegal weapon after he allegedly failed to book into evidence guns that had been turned over to him for safekeeping.

Richard Baubak Piffard, 29, was arrested without incident Dec. 14 on a West Valley street, and booked on suspicion of possessing an illegal silencer, police said. He was released after posting $20,000 bail. Piffard, who joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1995, has not been charged with any offense, but officials said he could face weapons charges, including possession of illegal assault rifles. The case is being reviewed by the Los Angeles County district attorney's Judicial System Integrity Division.

LAPD spokesman Lt. Horace Frank said, "If there's a silver lining to any of this, it's that the person reporting it felt confident coming to the department, knowing that the matter would be fully investigated."

Police said they received a tip several weeks ago that Piffard might possess illegal weapons. A source said that a San Fernando Valley woman had asked the officer to remove weapons from her home, but later called the LAPD and asked that they be returned. Unaware of the weapons, Piffard's supervisors contacted the LAPD's Internal Affairs Division, which investigated.

According to sources, police set up a sting in which Piffard picked up weapons from another house. He was arrested after he allegedly failed to turn them in. Police served warrants on Piffard's locker at the West Valley station, his home, car and other locations, Frank said.

"During the search, we discovered evidence suggesting that he had a storage space in Las Vegas," Frank said. There, LAPD officers, teamed with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, recovered numerous weapons, including an automatic MAC 11, AK-47 assault rifles, a Glock handgun and a .22-caliber long rifle equipped with a silencer.

The officer has been relieved of duty with one month's pay, pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation. In addition to possible criminal charges, he could face LAPD administrative charges. Piffard is due to appear in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Jan. 9.

His attorney, Darryl E. Mounger, said he was unable to comment Monday because "I have not seen any of the paperwork."

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Tady45
December 31, 2002, 04:36 PM
Knowing our current DA,
He will get a slap on the wrist...With the new Chief Bratton in charge of LAPD however, he should be fired.


Larry

clem
December 31, 2002, 11:09 PM
Tampering with evidence is a felony here in Arizona. And the laws apply to ALL , even cops.

What an idiot.

4v50 Gary
January 1, 2003, 12:12 AM
If he has a full automatic weapon (and since it isn't department issued), he's in deep do-do with the Feds.

Gordon
January 1, 2003, 12:25 AM
LA always LA. I think however, in my humble experience, that most desireable guns that are confiscated or recovered in low profile cases make their way to cops "collections". Isn't this "freebooty" practice been in existence since cops were invented?And the coroner forget it. I'm sure there are honest ones or may be they just havent been at it long enough yet.Have you members had any decent gun's returned from prior thefts?Surely they are picked up along with perps and are listed to all LEO in national data base cross refernced by DL# and the DMV knows where you are, get my drift? :scrutiny:

Blackhawk
January 1, 2003, 03:09 AM
LAPD spokesman Lt. Horace Frank said, "If there's a silver lining to any of this, it's that the person reporting it felt confident coming to the department, knowing that the matter would be fully investigated." As opposed to going to whom?

Sad that the spokesman would even think much less say such a thing. The LAPD was pretty much the only game in town for the "person reporting it."

Frohickey
January 1, 2003, 02:39 PM
Duty of all men to disobey UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws.

Now, he might get fired for failing to uphold the 'law', but these gun laws are still UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Beren
January 1, 2003, 10:16 PM
Duty of all men to disobey UNCONSTITUTIONAL laws.

We also expect all men to refrain from thievery. I don't care a bit about his possession of firearms; I am disgusted that he stole from the public he is sworn to protect.

4v50 Gary
January 1, 2003, 11:05 PM
What Beren says. It's theft that is at issue here. He was entrusted by a member of the public to take something to the station to be held by the police. Instead he took it home. It's also borders on misconduct under the color of authority.

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