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Los Angeles fire captain held in heroin sting

November 10, 2011 |  3:04 pm

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details

A Los Angeles City fire captain has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to purchase heroin,  authorities said Thursday.

Matthew Phillpsen was arrested about 12:10 p.m. Wednesday near Avenue 61 and Figueroa Street during a sting operation conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department's Northeast Area narcotics unit.

LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said Thursday that Phillpsen  was "apprehended while attempting to purchase seven balloons of simulated heroin from undercover officers."

Phillpsen was booked on suspicion of intent to possess heroin and was held on $10,000 bail, Neiman said.

Los Angeles fire officials did not comment on the specifics of the arrest but issued a statement:

"The Los Angeles Fire Department has recently learned that a member of the department was arrested on Wednesday November 9th 2011 in the Northeast section of Los Angeles for a narcotics violation," the statement said.

"The matter is currently under investigation by the LAPD. The Los Angeles Fire Department's professional standards division has been notified and will be conducting an investigation concurrent with any criminal investigation."


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For the record, 5:23 p.m., Nov. 10: A previous version of this post listed the suspect as
Mike Phillipsed.