Federal prosecutors have dismissed a case against a former Honolulu Police Department officer arrested on charges that he stole U.S. government property from a Drug Enforcement Administration agent’s vehicle.
The dismissal order for Christopher Carlson was filed last week.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Sameshima declined to comment today. The order is filed without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to pursue charges in the future.
Carlson was arrested in June after a DEA special agent said in a criminal complaint filed in court that he noticed his official government vehicle was burglarized and stolen items included a bulletproof vest with DEA patches, a police emergency visor light, binoculars and a DEA dashboard placard. The agent said he learned from a confidential source that the stolen items were at the Pearl City home of a former Honolulu policeman.
Items including two bulletproof vests, DEA patches and a DEA dashboard placard were found during a search of Carlson’s home.
Carlson was a 15-year veteran of the HPD who resigned after a 2008 conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The case was problematic in part because the investigating agent was the victim, defense attorney Megan Kau said. If the case had gone to trial, he wouldn’t have been a credible witness, she said.
“They also needed to prove that Chris Carlson had the intent of converting those DEA items for his own use,” she said.
Carlson claimed someone dropped the stolen items off at his home and that he got arrested before he could return them, Kau said.
Carlson was released after posting $10,000 after his arrest, but he violated terms of his release when his urine tested positive twice for crystal methamphetamine, Kau said. The violation landed him in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center.
Records show he was released Friday, four days after the dismissal was ordered, said Chris Burke, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C.