A former Ventura County Sheriff’s Office deputy has pleaded guilty two years after he threw out the urine sample of a woman he pulled over and later arrested because he thought she was under the influence, officials announced Tuesday.
Richard Charles Barrios III, 29, pleaded to destroying physical matter in connection with the Nov. 12, 2019, incident.
Barrios was on routine patrol in Camarillo that day when he pulled over a woman for a traffic violation.
When the former deputy contacted the woman, who was alone in the vehicle, he suspected she was under the influence of methamphetamine, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
Backup arrived and after assessing the woman, the second deputy corroborated Barrios’ belief that she was under the influence.
The woman was arrested, but “adamantly denied using narcotics” before, during and after being taken into custody, officials said.
Barrios apparently promised the woman that if she provided him with a urine sample at the Camarillo police station and she tested negative for controlled substances, he would apologize and drive her back to where she left her vehicle.
The woman obliged and surveillance video from the station showed her giving the sample cup to Barrios.
He then tested the urine with a narcotics test kit, observed the results and threw the urine sample in the trash, officials said.
Barrios apparently refused to tell the victim her test results and left the booking area to arrange for her to be booked at the main jail in Ventura. He then told a supervisor that the woman had not provided a urine sample.
When another deputy prepared to transfer the woman, she told them that Barrios had taken her sample, tested it, but refused to tell her the results.
That deputy discovered that Barrios had discarded the test kit, which was negative for all controlled samples.
The woman was provided a second urine sample, which also came back negative.
She was then released and taken back to her vehicle, officials said.
The Sheriff’s Office’s major crimes bureau conducted an investigation which revealed that Barrios also claimed in the police report that he had administered a narcotics evaluation of the victim at the station, when surveillance video revealed that he never did.
Barrios is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15. He faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail and two years probation, officials said.