Cop's ex-wife claimed drug abuse during divorce

SAN DIEGO - Divorce documents show that one of two San Diego police officers arrested this week on drug charges allege the cop had a problem with Vicodin.

Bryce Charpentier, 32, and his 41-year-old wife, Jennifer, were both arrested late Thursday morning as part of a long-running task force investigation, according to sheriff's officials.

The 4S Ranch couple, who are both officers with the San Diego Police Department, were free on bail Friday but potentially facing a slew of drug-related charges in the latest scandal to hit the law-enforcement agency.

Each was arrested without incident on suspicion of conspiracy and sales, possession and transportation of a controlled substance. Bryce Charpentier is also suspected of being under the influence of a narcotic while in possession of a loaded firearm, authorities said. The couple bailed out of jail Thursday evening.

Upon being notified of the arrests, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman placed the suspects on leave and revoked their police powers.

Bryce Charpentier is assigned to the department's Mid-City Division. Jennifer Charpentier works out of the Western Division.

Bryce Charpentier was tentatively scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, while his wife's initial court appearance was slated for June 16, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Vicodin Abuse?

In divorce documents obtained from Bryce Charpentier's first marriage claim, his ex-wife claimed he:

"Took Vicodin in excess and went through detox."
"Stole Vicodin from her medicine cabinet."
"Developed a chemical dependency to the drug and abused it."

On Bryce Charpentier's side, the claim in the divorce documents were that "the use of Vicodin was medically necessary as the result of his years as a professional hockey player, two back surgeries, a hand surgery and a severe automobile accident..."

Not the First Blemish for the San Diego Police Department

The police department has been saddled with officer misconduct cases this year, including ones involving alleged domestic violence and alleged sexual assaults against female suspects.

In late April and early May, Officer Gilbert Lorenzo, 31, was arrested twice on suspicion of assaulting his wife. Following a review of the allegations, prosecutors declined to filed charges against him.

Two months earlier, Officer Christopher Hays, 30, was charged with felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor sexual battery in connection with his detention of several women. He resigned from the department the next day. He is awaiting trial.

Also in February, a woman alleged that Officer Donald Moncrief, 39, groped her and exposed himself after arresting her last year. Moncrief, who has since left the department, was not charged in the case and has filed a claim against the city.

On Feb. 22, Detective Karen Almos, 47, was arrested on suspicion of DUI after being found passed out in a parked car in Balboa Park. She later pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay a fine of about $2,100.

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