Prosecutors to drop cases in NorCal drug probe

The Associated Press State & Local Wire, SECTION: STATE AND REGIONAL

Martinez, CA

Contra Costa County prosecutors say they plan to dismiss about a dozen cases involving arrests made by the former head of a Northern California drug task force under investigation.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Harold Jewett said Thursday about 40 cases are being reviewed in which Norman Wielsch, the former commander of the state's now-suspended Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement team, played an active role.

The Contra Costa Times reports that Jewett said about a third of those are likely to be dismissed because of Wielsch's involvement.

Wielsch and private investigator Christopher Butler were arrested last month on drug charges. Both out on bail after pleading not guilty to 28 counts alleging they sold drugs stolen from a county evidence room and drug task force seizures.

Another former officer arrested and also out on bail has yet to be charged.

Information from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com

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