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Sheriff's deputy arrested on suspicion of drug possession

A deputy in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of drug possession and other crimes, a sheriff’s official confirmed Saturday.

Rafael Zelaya, 35, was relieved of duty after his arrest Thursday. Along with the drug possession allegation, he is accused of receiving stolen property and filing false police reports. Zelaya, who has been on the force for six years, had been under investigation by the sheriff’s internal affairs unit for four months leading up to his arrest.

Further details of the allegations against Zelaya were not known. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed the arrest but refused to elaborate on what the deputy is alleged to have done.

Zelaya was taken into custody at the department’s East Los Angeles station without incident while he was off-duty. He is being held at Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. in lieu of $500,000 bail while awaiting his arraignment, Whitmore said.

 

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