Clovis Police detective charged with embezzling
In December, Capt Romero found $144 in crumpled cash while searching Hernandez's desk in his office; Romero was looking for drug paraphernalia that had gone missing in an unrelated case.
January 14, 2020
CLOVIS, N.M. — A Clovis police detective has been charged with embezzling $166 from a man he arrested in June.
Francisco Hernandez, 33, faces misdemeanor charges of embezzlement and tampering with evidence, court records show.
According to a criminal complaint filed Friday in magistrate court:
- Hernandez took $166 in cash from a criminal suspect after the money should have been logged into evidence.
- In December, Police Capt. Roman Romero found $144 in crumpled cash while searching Hernandez's desk in his office; Romero was looking for drug paraphernalia that had gone missing in an unrelated case.
- Hernandez told Romero the money was his that he'd been saving from Christmas. But investigators matched the serial number on a $100 bill found in Hernandez's desk with a $100 bill that had been taken from the man arrested June 29.
- The investigation began on Dec. 3 after an evidence custodian noted a glass pipe was missing from evidence connected to a suspected drug arrest. The custodian notified Romero about that case as well as another involving Hernandez — one in which a woman complained police had not returned between $100 and $200 she said had been taken from a man after he was arrested in June.
- No cash was entered into evidence related to the June 29 arrest, but investigators saw $166 in cash on a table while reviewing video from that arrest. The serial number on the $100 bill, in that case, was matched to the $100 bill Romero said he found in Hernandez's desk.
- No charges have been filed in connection with the missing pipe.
Records show Hernandez is scheduled for arraignment on Feb. 3.
District Attorney Andrea Reeb said he was not jailed because she and other officials "had safety concerns with him being a cop all weekend in the jail."
Hernandez could not be reached for comment. An email to his city of Clovis address was returned as "disabled."
His status as a police officer was not immediately clear. Police and city officials did not respond to requests for information.