Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SC K-9 officer charged with selling drugs

SWANSEA, SC Sept 1 2010- A Swansea police officer is charged with selling drugs that were supposed to be used to train drug-sniffing police dogs.

Charles Jason Shuler, 37, was arrested Monday evening and charged with misconduct in office, according to Swansea Police Chief Clif Hayes. A booking report showed Shuler was issued a $100,000 bond.

Hayes said Shuler handled the department's K9 unit, and owned Swansea's police dog. The department allowed Shuler to use drugs seized by the department to train the dog.

"It's very awkward when you have to do an internal investigation on your own people," said Swansea Police Chief Clif Hayes.

In early July, an informant told investigators Shuler was a frequent visitor to a known drug house in Gaston. Officers believed Shuler was selling marijuana and cocaine given to him by the department, and executed a search warrant at the house on Monday.

"He, for whatever reason, was selling the evidence that he was using for training purposes to a gentleman in Gaston, South Carolina," said Hayes.

Hayes and another investigator confronted Shuler on Monday after the two-month investigation, and Shuler eventually admitted to selling the drugs.

"We have to do what we have to do," said Hayes. "Truth is we had a dirty cop."

Shuler was hired in May 2010, and previously worked for the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

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