Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jun 2011
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2011 SF Newspaper Company LLC
Author: Dan Schreiber, Examiner Staff Writer


Mission Station Police Being Investigated for Alleged

Child pornography charges against medical-marijuana guru Dennis Peron
became cloudier last week after District Attorney George GascA3n
announced that police involved in a raid of Peron's residence are now
under investigation for misconduct in other cases.

The Aug. 4 raid of Peron's residence, which doubles as a bed and
breakfast known as the "Castro Castle," turned up child pornography on
computers and several types of drugs, according to a police affidavit.

Peron said in a phone interview that he expects his attorney to make
the credibility of the investigating officers an issue in his case.

"There aren't many innocent people at the Hall of Justice," Peron
said. "But I am innocent of these charges."

Peron, the well-known local pot and gay-rights activist who
spearheaded California's Proposition 215 in 1996 to pave the way for
legalizing medical marijuana, claims San Francisco cops have been out
to get him for decades and the latest charges are another attempt to
put him in jail on false pretenses.

Peron said he has never looked at child pornography in his life and if
police found porn on the computers, it originated with one of the
guests, who are permitted to use Castro Castle laptops in a common

"I don't know these people, I rent to them," Peron said. "I don't even
watch any porn. I'm very vanilla."

GascA3n announced last week that two surveillance videos obtained by
Public Defender Jeff Adachi have prompted an investigation of at least
five Mission Station officers for misconduct, including theft of
electronics and questionable evidence gathering in a drug case. The
videos were enough to cause prosecutors to drop more than two dozen
felony cases last week.

Adachi identified the common denominator in the dismissed cases as
Officer Ricardo Guerrero, who is also one of the primary investigators
conducting police work in Peron's case, according to court documents.

Guerrero has been featured as one of the cops in three different
videos released by Adachi recently that show misconduct or contradict
police reports.

Other undercover officers at Mission Station have also been accused by
Adachi and other criminal defense lawyers of engaging in misconduct.
Many of those officers -- including Sgt. Kevin Healy -- were involved
in the Peron investigation and subsequent raid.

Mission Station Capt. Greg Corrales said the case "speaks for itself,"
given the evidence found.

"Dennis Peron's attorneys are trying to muddy the water; that's what
they get paid for," Corrales said. "I think justice will be served in
this case."

District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Erica Derryck said prosecutors
will move forward in the Peron case, which she said is bolstered by
evidence and testimony disconnected from the Mission Station officers
in question. The Police Department's juvenile crimes unit jointly
investigated Peron with the Mission cops.

"At this juncture, we believe we can proceed," Derryck

On Friday, a judge is scheduled to hear Peron's motion to reveal a
confidential informant used by police in the case.
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