Husband-and-wife San Diego police officers pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of selling or furnishing a controlled substance, hydrocodone.
Bryce Charpentier, 32, who, in addition to the drug dealing charge, also faces an allegation that he was armed during a drug transaction, may get six years and eight months in state prison if convicted.
His wife, Jennifer Charpentier, 41, would face five years and eight months behind bars if found guilty, said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Tag.
The prosecutor alleged that both defendants were addicted to opiates, but also in posession of enough to be suspected of drug dealing.
“They were providing the medication to others,” Tag said outside court. “Enough Hydrocodone to sell or market, so it’s not a couple pills.”
Judge David Szumowski allowed both defendants to remain free on their posted $50,000 bail. The judge ordered the defendant not to possess weapons unless it was work-related.
After the Charpentiers were arrested June 5 as part of a long-running task force investigation, San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman immediately placed the defendants on leave.
Bryce Charpentier is assigned to the department’s Mid-City Division, and his wife works out of the Western Division. They live in 4S Ranch.
A readiness conference was set for July 24 and a preliminary hearing for Aug. 14.
The police department has been saddled with officer misconduct cases this year, including that of Officer Christopher Hays, who is charged with felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor sexual battery in connection with his detention of several women.
He resigned from the department the day after his February arrest and is awaiting trial.
The same month, Detective Karen Almos, 47, was arrested on suspicion of DUI after being found passed out in a parked car in Balboa Park. She later pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay a fine of about $2,100.
– City News Service