Veteran LAPD officer arrested for dealing methamphetamine

A veteran Los Angeles police officer was arrested by federal authorities for allegedly selling methamphetamine, it was announced today.

Yoshiro Romero -- a five-year veteran of the LAPD assigned to the Southeast Division -- was arrested Monday by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Riverside County, according to an LAPD statement.

According to the LAPD, federal agents notified the department in April of Romero's suspected involvement in off-duty methamphetamine sales.

Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said Romero arranged to sell 111 grams of methamphetamine in December 2009 for $4,200, according to the DEA's federal criminal complaint.

Romero allegedly placed the drugs inside a candy box on the front seat of a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck with a paper dealer placard and then told a buyer he could find it at the North County Fair in Escondido, authorities said.

The buyer was then instructed to leave the cash in the center console, take the candy box containing the methamphetamine and lock the vehicle’s door.

Romero was peacefully arrested Monday at his Inland Empire home. He is due back in court Thursday before Judge Cathy A. Bencivengo. If convicted he can face up to 10 years in federal prison.

The LAPD launched an internal probe and cooperated fully with federal authorities in their investigation, which is ongoing, according to the department's statement. The LAPD declined to release any further information in an effort to not jeopardize the investigation.

KPCC's Cheryl Devall contributed audio to this report.

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