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Scandal Involving Concord Private Investigator Links Richmond PD to Another Planned Dirty DUI

Christopher Butler had previously been implicated in at least five attempts to tarnish the reputations of men going through divorce cases by getting them arrested on drunken driving cases.

Concord private investigator Christopher Butler reportedly worked with two Richmond police officers in a plan to have a Richmond police Explorer arrested on a drunken-driving arrest in Danville.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting on the latest "Dirty DUI" case to involve Butler, although in this particular case the target became aware of the plan and backed out before any arrest could take place.

Butler and his good friend Norman Wielsch, the head of the central Contra Costa County's drug task force, were arrested last month and charged with multiple counts of drug dealing and conspiracy.  

The Chronicle reports that the FBI is investigating allegations that the two Richmond police officers recruited teens from the department's Explorer program into their private security firm, "illegally armed them with guns and sent them to patrol the city's most dangerous housing complexes."

The two Explorers, Sergio Rios, now 21, and 22-year-old Orlando Torres, and other employees this past summer began to complain about working conditions in these security jobs and had a falling-out with their mentors, the Chronicle reported.

This fall, officers, Danny Harris and Ray Thomas, then contacted Butler, who had attractive female decoys meet Rios at his new job at an Emeryville movie theater on Nov. 7, the women involved in the setup told the Chronicle. The women were told by Butler to get Rios to meet them at a San Ramon restaurant, where they would coax him into drinking.

The women told the Chronicle that Butler gave them "explicit instructions" to lead the young man north through neighboring Danville, where a police officer would make a prearranged traffic stop.

The Chronicle story doesn't identify the Danville officer who would make the traffic stop.

Stephen Tanabe, a former Danville police officer and Alamo resident, resigned from the force after being arrested on suspicion of drug and weapons charges and being linked to Butler's alleged dirty DUI scheme.  No charges have been filed yet against Tanabe. Another Danville officer linked to the case has been transferred to another department.

With this scheme, Butler, usually working with attorneys handling contentious divorce cases, would try to tarnish the reputations of the husbands of the attorneys' female clients.

In some cases, Butler's female employees would meet men at various East Bay bars and urge them to drink. In another case, Butler or someone working on his behalf, including Tanabe, would be in the bar and call local police to alert them of a possible drunken driver.

 Five men from various East Bay cities, including a Livermore winemaker, have been arrested on drunken-driving charges in Clayton, Concord and Danville and have been linked to Butler's alleged scheme. The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office is reviewing these cases and dozens of others involving Tanabe, Butler, and Wielsch, including a San Ramon massage parlor prostitution bust.

t.bemis April 06, 2011 at 02:36 AM
About time the fed's got involved. There are more dirty cops out there and more men who might have lost their jobs, children or much more...the freedom. Butler will go down as the biggest scum bag to ever had worn a badge.
terry April 06, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Lots of Scum bags out there, I wonder how deep the DA will dig on this one? The PD Chief from Richmond downplayed the latest bust as similar to a traffic violation! "WOW'! With the continued surfacing of crimes connected to certain local law enforcement areas one would think the DOJ or FBI would be thinking along the lines of Racketeering, maybe a RICO Investigation is next! Could get ugly! Just my Opinion!
David Mills (Editor) April 06, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Hi, JLB: Your comment has been removed until we can check out the information to make sure it is accurate. Can you please send me the information you have in an e-mail to david.mills@patch.com. My thanks. Dave

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