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Danville cop free on bail

Contra Costa Times (California) SECTION: MY TOWN; Crime; Contra Costa; News; Local; Breaking
BYLINE: By Eric Louie Contra Costa Times

Danville, CA

A Danville police officer arrested in the widening investigation of a Contra Costa County drug task force chief and a high-profile private investigator are free on bail, according to the authorities.

Stephen Tanabe, 47, of Alamo, was being held at County Jail in Martinez on $260,000 bail. He posted bail late Saturday.

Tanabe was arrested Friday on suspicion of conspiracy to possess and sell controlled substances and possession and transfer of an assault rifle. The arrest follows those of Norman Wielsch, the former commander of the state's now-suspended Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET, and Christopher Butler, who ran a Concord-based private investigative firm.

Both Wielsch and Butler have pleaded not guilty on 28 felony counts, with prosecutors alleging both men would steal drugs from evidence lockers and Butler would sell them. Wielsch has been out on bail and Butler made his $900,000 bail Friday and was also released.

Tanabe was working patrol in Danville for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office, which provides police services under contract for the town. He was not a member of the CNET task force.

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