A disgraced former San Francisco police officer was sentenced to a year in prison Thursday for his role in a conspiracy to steal money and property from arrestees and give illegal drugs to informants.
Reynaldo Vargas, 46, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute drugs and theft. Vargas admitted that he and two other officers, Ian Furminger and Edmond Robles, repeatedly stole money and property during searches and arrests. He also admitted the trio kept the stolen items for themselves and that he gave seized drugs to informants.
Vargas is the last of the three to be sentenced. He testified at the trial of Furminger and Robles, who were convicted in a jury trial in December.
Furminger was sentenced to three and one-half years and Robles to three years, three months in prison.
The corruption case began with the public release of a videotape showing officers entering a single room occupancy hotel room without a warrant. The FBI and SFPD Internal Affairs Division conduced the investigation that found Vargas, Robles and Furminger engaged in the theft of tens of thousands of dollars and personal property. In addition, they filed false police reports that failed to identify the money and property then had stolen.
During the Vargas sentencing, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer called the Vargas testimony “crucial, essential, to the successful prosecution of the case.” He said Vargas should be lauded for accepting responsibility. Breyer expressed the hope other police officers will understand that when they see this type of activity by colleagues “it hurts them, as well as the police officers who are involved.”
Case: U.S. v. Furminger, 14-cr-102CRB