BRITISH COLUMBIA

Christopher Nicholson, Abbotsford Police Officer, Charged With Breach Of Trust

05/07/2013 03:43 EDT | Updated 07/07/2013 05:12 EDT
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VANCOUVER - An eight-month undercover operation by Vancouver police has resulted in charges of breach of trust, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to traffic drugs against an Abbotsford, B.C., police officer.

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said the investigation into Const. Christopher Nicholson grew to involve dozens of officers.

Their investigation was initially based on allegations that the officer was providing false information to other police officers who used that information to obtain search warrants, Chu said.

Nicholson is also accused of conspiring with a confidential informant to have drugs delivered to a residence and have other police officers conduct a search soon after.

"Since we believe that Christopher Nicholson had knowledge of the drug transaction and was an active participant in the transaction, a charge of conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance has been laid."

Chu said the investigative team is preparing more charges related to the falsifying of information provided to the justice system.

"When we first learned of the allegations, we understood right away that a thorough investigation was required. Corrupt conduct is not acceptable to any of us in policing."

Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich said two of his officers got information last July that a constable had leaked information to a drug dealer so the dealer could avoid being arrested. That's when they called in Vancouver police.

"We believe Christopher Nicholson lied about the information that he was obtaining from confidential informants and was lying to the judges. This impacts the whole justice system."

Rich told reporters they briefed the officers most involved in the case.

"Our officers are angry, upset, horrified. The idea that one of our members would do this is shocking to them. This is not how we conduct business."

Rich said his is a force that is assertively trying to deal with the gang problem, and it proudly holds onto its ethics in the midst of doing that.

"I'm from an organization that would not every tolerate this, and obviously when the two members thought that there might be something to this, they immediately brought it forward."

Nicholson, who's been with the Abbotsford police since November of 2005, has been suspended without pay, and will face an internal disciplinary process in addition to the criminal charges.

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