An Abbotsford Police officer has been charged following an eight-month investigation that began when he allegedly leaked information to a drug dealer so that person could avoid arrest.
Const. Christopher Nicholson appeared Tuesday in Vancouver provincial court. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to traffic drugs, two counts of breach of trust, and seven counts of obstructing justice.
His next court appearance is slated for June 18.
He has been suspended from his job with the Abbotsford Police Department. Chief Bob Rich said he will lose his pay as soon as it is legally possible, which could take up to 30 days.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) began the investigation last September, and Chief Jim Chu said at a press conference on Tuesday morning that further charges will be laid against Nicholson.
Chu said the APD asked the VPD to conduct an investigation after two APD members informed an inspector of Nicholson’s alleged misconduct last July.
He said up to a dozen investigators were involved in the covert operation.
Chu said it is alleged that Nicholson provided false information to other officers, who used the details to obtain search warrants for drugs in private residences.
Nicholson also allegedly conspired with a confidential informant to have drugs delivered to a residence and have other police officers conduct a search warrant soon after.
“Since we believe that Christopher Nicholson had knowledge of the drug transacion and was an active participant in the transaction, a charge of conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance has been laid,” Chu said.
Rich, also speaking at the press conference in Vancouver, said, if the facts are proven to be true, Nicholson put the “lives and reputations of other police officers at risk.”
“To the front-line officers, these are some of the most dangerous and high-risk entries that police officers undertake. Executing search warrants with false/misleading information puts many police officers in unnecessary danger,” he said.
Rich said Nicholson, who has been with the APD since 2005, will also face disciplinary action through the Police Act.