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Tanabe Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Former Danville officer enters plea in drunken driving setup case connected with CNET investigation.

Stephen Tanabe, a former Danville police officer and Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy,  pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to new charges stemming from his alleged involvement in setting up drunken driving arrests.

Tanabe, 49, has now been charged with four counts of wire fraud in addition to the four charges filed against him last December accusing him of aiding former private investigator Christopher Butler in setting up the DUI arrests of men involved in divorce cases, according to court documents.

According to federal prosecutors, Butler paid Tanabe with cocaine and a handgun in exchange for his help in 2010 in arranging DUI "stings" in which he arrested husbands or ex-husbands of Butler's private investigation firm clients.

Tanabe's attorneys have maintained that the Alamo resident is innocent of the charges, even after Butler admitted to the illegal scheme in federal court earlier this month.

, extortion and illegal wiretapping and charges that he stole drugs from law enforcement evidence lockers along with former Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team Commander Norman Wielsch, also 50, who is awaiting trial.

Also charged in connection with the CNET scandal is San Ramon police officer Louis Lombardi, who was sentenced earlier this month to three years in federal prison in exchange for admitting his theft of more than $40,000 during searches of suspects' homes and for information about his co-defendants.

Bay City News Service

Lizzy LaBasco May 29, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Boy, this guy is really optimistic !

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