Thursday, October 8, 2015         

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Police officer to appear in court in report falsification case

By Star-Advertiser staff


The last of the four police officers charged with falsifying documents so two of them could get overtime is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court later this month.

Sgt. Aaron Bernal will enter a plea Oct. 24.

Bernal and three other officers — Christopher and Patrick Bugarin and Sgt. Duke Zoller — are accused of theft and tampering with government records in connection with an alleged scheme by members of a DUI traffic enforcement unit.

The Bugarin brothers and Zoller already have entered pleas of not guilty and are scheduled for trial before Circuit  Judge Ed Kubo on Nov. 14.

In May, Kubo dismissed the charges against the four police officers because the case had taken too long to go to trial. Kubo, however, allowed prosecutors to refile the case.

The four have been charged again and are accused of putting the names of the two sergeants on arrest reports to show that they were at DUI checkpoints when they actually weren't  there. Prosecutors allege that they added the names so the sergeants could get overtime if defendants challenged the arrests in court.

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