BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore police officer accused of planting drugs has been found guilty of fabricating evidence and misconduct in office.
Officer Richard A. Pinheiro Jr. took the stand Thursday to defend himself against charges that he fabricated evidence. He was indicted in January on charges of tampering with evidence and misconduct in office.
The case stems from body camera footage that appears to show Pinheiro discovering a stash of heroin in an alley, but prosecutors say he broke the law by staging the video.
Pinheiro claimed when he first found the drugs, he didn’t have his body camera on, so he put them back, hit record, and then re-enacted the search.
He said he recreated the discovery in order to avoid getting in trouble for forgetting to turn on his camera.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s released the following statement after the ruling:
“The effectiveness of the justice system greatly depends on our citizen’s confidence that the evidence collected by police and presented in court by the state is of high virtue and lacks corruption. Unfortunately the evidence in this case proved otherwise and we are pleased that the court saw fit to hold this Officer accountable for his actions. We will continue to apply one standard of justice fairly and equally regardless of one’s age, sex, race, or occupation.”