Pubdate: Wed, 13 Dec 2006
Source: Tucson Citizen (AZ)
Copyright: 2006 Tucson Citizen
Author: David L. Teibel


The County Attorney's Office has dropped drug charges  against a 
former Tucson police officer after he agreed  to give up his state 
peace officer's certification and  undergo 10 hours of counseling.

Estevan A. Marquez, 38, was arrested by fellow officers  Oct. 17 
after two urine tests showed cocaine in his  system, Lt. Vicki Reza 
said at the time.

She said Marquez, a TPD officer for 11 years, was given  required 
drug tests after colliding with another patrol  car earlier that day.

After the arrest, a search of Marquez's locker came up  with a small 
amount of cocaine and marijuana, Reza  said.

The midtown patrol officer was jailed and released on  his own 
recognizance on suspicion of possession of a  narcotic drug, 
marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The department planned to fire Marquez at 3:30 p.m.  Nov. 9, police 
spokesman Sgt. Decio Hopffer said, but  the officer came to police 
headquarters and resigned  his job at 9 a.m. that day.

Charges in the case were dismissed Monday in Pima  County 
Consolidated Justice Court, said Marquez's  attorney, Michael L. 
Piccarreta. If Marquez completes  the counseling, prosecutors have 
agreed not to have the  charges refiled.

Piccarreta said Marquez has denied ever taking illegal  drugs and the 
attorney said the drug tests results were  inaccurate.

As to the drugs found in Marquez's locker, Piccarreta  said Marquez 
seized them as part evidence in an  investigation, but at the end of 
the day forgot to  check them into the police evidence section, 
inadvertently leaving them in his locker.

The attorney added that Marquez had documented the drug  seizure in a report.

"It's a minute amount of drugs," Piccarreta said.

By giving up his peace officer's certification, Marquez  cannot work 
as a law enforcement officer in Arizona.
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