A deputy sheriff with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office was arrested Friday on suspicion of possessing and selling controlled substances,
a spokesman said.
Stephen Tanabe, 47, of Alamo, was arrested at 9:30 p.m. after investigators discovered he might have been keeping and selling drugs, according to a statement from sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.
Tanabe, who had been with the sheriff's office for four years, faces charges of conspiracy to possess and sell controlled substances, and
possession and transfer of an assault rifle, according to Lee.
His arrest was part of an ongoing investigation into the state Department of Justice Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET.
"The arrest of Tanabe is a sad day for the office of the sheriff but should not reflect on the integrity or professionalism of the nearly 1,000 other members of the office," Sheriff David Livingston said in a statement.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, agents are looking into whether Tanabe was hired by private investigator Christopher Butler to arrest men for drunken driving in an effort to tarnish their records in divorce cases.
Deputy District Attorney Jun Fernandez said Butler hired decoys to make passes at the soon-to-be divorcees or pretend they were journalists wanting lengthy interviews. They would then meet at The Vine on Hartz Avenue.
After the men left the wine bar, Butler would call his officer contacts -- including Tanabe -- and give a description of the men, the car he was driving and the moment he left the bar, the Chronicle reported. After the man drove from the parking lot, the officer would arrest him.
Tanabe was placed on administrative leave, and he is being held at the Martinez Detention Facility with a bail of $260,000, according to the sheriff's office.
Tanabe worked patrol in Danville through a contract with the city and the sheriff's office.