A police officer in Roswell, New Mexico, resigned after he falsely accused an employee at a Sonic fast food restaurant of spitting in his drink.
Christopher Ray Moreno, a 22-year-old Roswell Police Department officer, reportedly admitted to spitting in his own drink in an effort to frame the employee. Moreno had a personal grudge employee and had arrested them in the past for petty crimes.
A criminal complaint said that investigators viewed surveillance video from inside the restaurant and ultimately found no evidence of the employee spitting in Moreno’s drink.
Knowing he would be fired, Moreno resigned earlier this week and turned in his equipment. Officers searched his patrol car and found meth, drug pipes, a suspect’s drivers license and a BB gun — all of which was evidence he’d kept from various cases.
A subsequent search of Moreno’s home also revealed a stolen license plate.
Moreno was arrested on Wednesday following his resignation, and charged with false reporting, malicious criminal prosecution and tampering with evidence. After the items were discovered in his car and at his home, the officer was hit with additional charges of possession of a controlled substance, paraphernalia possession, receiving stolen property and larceny.
“It is our hope the disappointing recent transgression by one rogue police officer will not, under any circumstances, become a blanket reflection of the consistent, outstanding police work and maintenance of public safety conducted by our officers every day,” Police Chief Phillip Smith said. Smith expressed to reporters his personal disappointment with Moreno’s conduct and actions.
“I’m the third generation of four generations of law enforcement, I take personal offense to this as every member of this police department does,” he said.
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