Southern California

LAPD captain on leave denies wrongdoing in illegal marijuana grow probe

A Los Angeles police captain who is on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal department probe involving an illegal marijuana grow in Sun Valley says he has done nothing wrong, his attorney said this weekend.

Capt. Phillip Smith, commanding officer of LAPD’s Rampart Patrol Division, was told to stay at home as internal investigators work to determine if he was involved in an illegal marijuana grow discovered in the 8800 block of Bradley Avenue in late October, according to police. Authorities have said the captain was “affiliated with the location” but have not said in what capacity.

While Smith is limited in what he can say at this time, “we will say, however, that the captain denies any wrongdoing and that no search warrant has been served at his home,” said Attorney Muna Busailah, who represents Smith, in an emailed statement sent over the weekend.

Busailah said at least one television outlet “falsely stated” that some pot plants were found in his garage and that his computers were also confiscated.

Smith, in an email earlier this week, said he himself notified LAPD of a burglary at that location, which led to the discovery of the marijuana grow.

Police have said the burglary occurred at a local business in the 8800 block of Bradley Avenue. At about 4 a.m. on Oct. 31, suspects pried open the back door and entered before fleeing with a safe, cigarettes, cigars and marijuana plants.

Authorities determined that it was an illegal marijuana grow warehouse.  LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division and Commercial Crimes Division are investigating the marijuana grow.

Meanwhile, LAPD’s Professional Standards Bureau, Internal Affairs Division is handling the confidential personnel investigation as is protocol.

Smith has not been arrested and no charges have been filed against him in this matter, according to authorities.

“We ask everyone to be patient and let the investigation run its course, and to respect Captain Smith’s civil rights including his right to privacy,” Busailah added.


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