SLO police detective arrested on suspicion of bribery and extortion is indicted

A San Luis Obispo police detective was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday in Los Angeles, nearly a month after he was arrested for allegedly taking cash and drugs from two people and in return providing them with narcotics.

Cory Pierce, who participated for about a year on the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office’s narcotics unit, was indicted in U.S. District Court on one count of bribery and one count of extortion. His arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

If convicted of the two counts, Pierce, 39, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison, Mrozek said.

Pierce allegedly took cash and narcotics from two repeat offenders, a boyfriend and girlfriend, from February 2012 until February 2013, according to a criminal complaint. In return, he helped them avoid arrest and get lighter probation supervision and provided them with drugs.

In January, one of the offenders began cooperating with a federal investigation as a witness and recorded multiple conversations with Pierce.

Pierce, who was hired by the San Luis Obispo Police Department in 2006, is currently on paid administrative leave from the department. Police Chief Steve Gesell said a police lieutenant has been assigned to complete an administrative investigation that is separate from the criminal case.