Married San Diego cops arrested in drug bust

Two San Diego police officers, husband and wife, were arrested during a drug bust on Thursday.

The bust by the San Diego Sheriff's Department happened before noon in East County and 4S Ranch. The officers -- 41-year-old Jennifer Charpentier, 41, and 32-year-old Bryce Charpentier -- were taken into custody without incident.

Bryce Charpentier was booked on charges of sales of a controlled substance, possession, transportation, under the influence while in possession of a loaded firearm and conspiracy.

Jennifer Charpentier was booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance, sales, transportation and conspiracy.

The sheriff's department stated the officers' alleged involvement in the crimes came to light within the past few days. San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman was notified and briefed by Sheriff Bill Gore, who said the San Diego Police Department is fully cooperating with the investigation.

In a statement, the police department said that upon being notified of their arrests, Zimmerman placed both suspects on leave and revoked their police powers. 

Bryce Charpentier is a six-year member of the department who works out of the Mid-City Division. Jennifer Charpentier has been with the agency for 18 years and is assigned to the Western Division.

10News reached out to Mayor Kevin Faulconer for comment but his office said he was unavailable Thursday evening.

Bryce Charpentier was released from custody at the jail in downtown San Diego late Thursday night after posting bail.

Jennifer Charpentier was released from the Las Colinas Detention Facility at 5:30 a.m. Friday after posting $50,000 bail. Deputies snuck her out of the jail in an attempt to avoid 10News' cameras.

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.

Sources tell 10News that Bryce Charpentier has been abusing prescription drugs since he suffered a career-ending hockey injury (the prescription drug abuse was mentioned in divorce documents). The sources also stated that both Bryce and his wife, Jennifer, had been acting strangely in recent months and that they were "withdrawn and secretive."

Neighbors paint a different picture of the couple.

"Yeah, I see them out all the time," said Molly Campbell, a neighbor who witnessed the raid and arrest of Jennifer Charpentier. "They're always waving, laughing, having a good time. I'm shocked."

"The dad is always outside with his kids," another neighbor, Mary Jane Hayes, said. "They're always playing."

One of Bryce's two children, a 4-year-old we were told, was left inside the 4S Ranch home with his grandmother at the time of the raid and watched his dad's wife be arrested.

10News cameras were rolling as that grandmother left the house several hours later, declining to comment on the situation.

"I need you guys to back up please," she said.

This is just the latest in a slew of scandals for the department. In late April and early May, Officer Gilbert Lorenzo, 31, was arrested twice on suspicion of assaulting his wife. Prosecutors declined to filed charges in either case, saying after a thorough review, they did not believe they could prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
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 currently 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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