There is story out of Orange County this week that is an astonishing allegations of police corruption. Deputy Sheriff Angelina Cortez, 41, is accused of stealing the credit card of an arrested person and then giving the debit card to her son to use to buy things. There are a couple aspects of this case which are intriguing.
According to the charging documents, Cortez and a training officer responded to a report of a woman stealing wine and batteries from a 7-Eleven store in San Clemente on Nov. 19, 2018. Cortez allegedly pocketed the woman’s debit card and gave it to her son, who then used it to buy various items. Notably, Cortez reportedly made $248,000 annually in pay and benefits.
What is also interesting is the length of time for the charges. She was allegedly committed the crime in November 2018 and was put on leave in June 2019. She will be arraigned on November 18th, two years after the offense. In addition, she is only charged with filing a false police report. That could result in a maximum sentence of three years in prison, if convicted. However, what about the theft of a credit card and fraud?
Prosecutors often count stack against defendants to force pleas. However, in this case, the most obvious charges are not included against this officer, who allegedly abused a position of authority.
The length of time and the limited charges are hard to explain. It is also hard to explain how, if true, Cortez thought that she could get away with this. She is on record as an arresting officer when the credit card went missing. It would seem obvious that any investigation would lead back to when the card was taken from the arrestee. To then involve your own child in such a criminal enterprise would be truly breathtaking.