02/18/2015 12:50 EST

Abbotsford Police Officers Under Investigation For Misconduct, Corruption

The B.C. misconduct investigation began with the arrest of a constable on drug and conspiracy charges.

A total of 17 members of the Abbotsford Police Department are under investigation in a corruption probe that began with the arrest of a constable on drug and conspiracy charges.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) in B.C. said Wednesday that it's looking into a total of 148 accusations of misconduct against the officers.

It all began in 2013 when Abbotsford police Const. Christopher Nicholson was charged with conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, breach of trust, and obstruction of justice. His trial is pending.

The seven-year veteran is accused of lying about information he got from confidential informants and lying to judges.

Nicholson also allegedly conspired with an informant to have drugs delivered to a home, and have other police officers conduct a search warrant afterward, according to an external investigation by the Vancouver Police Department.

A further review turned up more allegations of misconduct against Nicholson and 16 other members of the Fraser Valley police force, said the OPCC in a news release on Wednesday.

The agency said many of the accusations relate to statements sworn by police to judicial officers in order to obtain search warrants: "What remains an active concern to the OPCC is the extent to which the search warrants in issue may have contributed to potentially unsafe prosecutions."

Abbotsford police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald told News 1130 the public should not rush to judge or speculate.

“We were the people to bring this light to matter. We were the ones that asked for external reviews to be conducted… We are co-operating fully,” he said.

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