Crime

Fresno police officer returns to duty

Alfred "Al" Campos, a Fresno police officer who was placed on administrative leave last July after methamphetamine allegedly was found in the home he shared with his family, was back on duty Friday.

In a prepared statement, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Campos was released from administrative leave with pay and has been returned to the department "as an officer in good standing."

Dyer said Campos' return to the force comes after an extensive criminal investigation by the Major Narcotics Unit and an administrative investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit were conducted to determine whether Campos was involved in illegal activity or if he had knowledge of illegal activity occurring.

The department cleared Campos of any wrongdoing. The criminal investigation was reviewed by the Fresno County District Attorney's Office before Campos was reinstated.

Assistant District Attorney Bob Ellis confirmed the criminal investigation was reviewed by his office and that no charges against Campos were filed.

Campos was placed on leave shortly after Fresno police narcotics officers served a search warrant at his home on July 20, 2006.

The search warrant was obtained after police used a confidential informant to buy meth from Campos' half brother Francisco "Frankie" Marin Jr., now 23, according to court documents.

Campos, a co-owner of the house with his mother, was not home when the raid was conducted. Police announced at the time that 2.8 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and $73,000 in cash were found in the home.

Marin was arrested on the day of the search and another half brother of Campos, Jose "Monkey" Guzman, 28, turned himself in on Sept. 26.

In announcing Campos' return to the force, Dyer said the investigation revealed that the methamphetamine allegedly found in the home was located in two of the bedrooms that were occupied by Campos' half brothers.

In one of the bedrooms, the meth was found in a safe inside a locked closet, and in the other bedroom, the narcotics were found inside a locked closet, Dyer said.

No narcotics, paraphernalia or money were located in Campos' bedroom, nor did Campos possess a key to his half brothers' bedrooms or closets, Dyer said.

Marin was charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance for sale and maintaining a place for sales of narcotics.

Marin, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, remains in the Fresno County jail on a no-bail warrant for violation of probation on a conviction for possession of stolen property.

Ellis said Marin is scheduled for a hearing on Aug. 16 to set a date for a preliminary hearing on the narcotics charges.

Guzman, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance for sale and maintaining a place for sales of a controlled substance, was released on bail Oct. 19. He was found dead in his burning Chevy Tahoe near Fruit and American avenues on March 5.

His slaying is under investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, which has not made public a motive or the cause of death.

In May, however, sheriff's detectives announced they were looking for four men and a woman for questioning in the killing.

The five, who have not been charged, were identified as Abundio Mendoza Gaytan, in his 20s; Alondra Mendoza, 24; Yasmany Mendoza, about 25; Felipe Villagomez, about 25, and Gonzalo Mendoza, about 19.

All are from Mexico and four of them are related with family in the McFarland and Dinuba areas, according to investigators.

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