CHP OFFICER ARRESTED FOR BREAKING INTO EVIDENCE ROOM

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # TBA

December 24, 2007

Contact:

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

CHP OFFICER ARRESTED FOR
BREAKING INTO EVIDENCE ROOM

SANTA ANA — The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) and Santa Ana Police Department, in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), arrested a CHP officer and recovered several kilograms of cocaine that had been stolen from CHP headquarters in Santa Ana.  Joshua Blackburn, 32, of Murrieta, a 6-year veteran of CHP, is being held on $4 million bail at the Orange County Jail.  The CHP has been cooperating fully in the investigation.  The OCDA will be filing charges and the defendant will be arraigned on Wednesday, December 26, 2007, at the Central Justice Center at a time and courtroom to be determined. 

On December 21, 2007 at about 4 a.m., officials at the CHP office in Santa Ana discovered a break in their evidence locker room.  There were signs of forced entry.  CHP immediately notified Santa Ana Police who asked OCDA to head the investigation.  The stolen cocaine was evidence involving another incident in which two suspects were arrested.  The original case involving the cocaine is still pending.

During the early morning hours of December 21, 2007, Blackburn is accused of breaking into the evidence room, taking the cocaine, and hiding it.  OCDA investigators have recovered all of the stolen cocaine, which had a wholesale value of $1 million.   

The OCDA is continuing to investigate the case.  Assistant District Attorney Walt Schwarm of the Major Narcotics Unit is prosecuting the case. 

###