The Los Angeles Police Department recently did something it doesn't like to do: It arrested one of its own — a detective who was charged with embezzling funds meant to be used for witness protection, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office announced Friday.
Leonard Avalos, 44, was charged with one count of embezzlement by a public or private officer and six counts of grand theft, according to a D.A.'s statement. He's alleged to have taken more than $30,000 given to him by the LAPD Fiscal Operations Division for the purpose of witness relocation, prosecutors said.
According to the LAPD, the suspect was taken into custody Thursday night, while he was off-duty, by its Professional Standards Bureau. The 17-year department veteran was held in lieu of $120,000 bail. He was assigned to home duty.
The alleged embezzlement happened from February 15 to June 20, 2008, when Avalos was a detective at the LAPD's Southwest Division, according to the D.A.'s office. If convicted he would face more than six years in prison.