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Deputy arrested for Possession of Narcotics While on Duty

HESPERIA, Calif. ( — In a shocking development, a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff was apprehended while on duty for the possession of a narcotic controlled substance.

The incident occurred on Monday, November 6, 2023, at 5:28 p.m., when Samuel Espinoza, a 35-year-old resident of Fontana, was found to be in possession of a suspected narcotic while armed and entering a jail facility on the 9500 Etiwanda Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, at the West Valley Detention Center.

Espinoza, an experienced Deputy Sheriff with five years of service in the Transportation Division, was identified by his supervisor as being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Further investigation revealed the presence of the illicit substance in his possession. It is worth noting that Espinoza did not handle department vehicles occupied by inmates during his shift.

Although ongoing, the investigation indicates that Espinoza did not supply narcotics to inmates or any other staff members.

Following his arrest, Espinoza faced serious charges, including possession of a narcotic controlled substance while armed (HS11550 (E)) and bringing narcotics into a jail facility (PC4573.5). He was subsequently booked at the High Desert Detention Center, posted bail, and was released pending further legal proceedings.

In a voluntary act, Espinoza resigned from his position as part of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. However, the investigation will still be handed over to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for review and potential prosecution.

Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus expressed his disappointment in Espinoza’s choices but commended the supervisors for taking swift action to uphold the public’s trust. He remarked, “Events like these, while unfortunate, demonstrate our resolve and commitment to addressing crime, even when the suspect is a deputy. I am proud of the supervisors for interceding and upholding the public’s trust. I am disappointed by the choices my deputy made, and even though he no longer works for the department, it’s my hope that he receives the help he needs.”

For individuals with any information pertaining to this investigation, Sergeant J. Ramstad of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Transportation Division can be reached at (909) 463-5297. Alternatively, those wishing to provide anonymous tips may contact We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).

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