DEA Arrests Titusville Police Officer
TITUSVILLE, Florida -- A Titusville Police Officer on administrative leave since January was taken into custody today by DEA agents and the Titusville Police Internal Affairs Investigator after he was indicted on federal charges Wednesday, March 6, 2014.
Richard Irizzary, a patrol officer since March 2010, was taken into custody as he arrived at police headquarters this morning for a scheduled interview. "While his badge and gun were seized back in January when he was placed on administrative leave, the department will move to suspend him without pay after a due process hearing," Titusville Police spokesperson Major Todd Hutchinson said in a release. "Terminations cannot take place until the completion of an Internal Investigation."
The Federal charges include "To Aid & Abet the Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance while armed with a Firearm" and "Use of a Communication Device to Aid the Possession of Controlled Substances."
Hutchinson said that Titusville Police Chief John Lau and other members of his command staff have been working directly with the DEA since January when the department first learned of the allegations.
“We were appalled and shocked when we learned of these allegations and immediately offered our complete cooperation,” said Titusville Police Chief John Lau. “We have been working in tandem with DEA investigators on this isolated incident that does not involve any other department member,” added Lau.
"While department members are outraged that someone entrusted by the community could be charged with such a serious offense, they know this arrest does not represent the men and women of the Titusville Police," said Hutchinson.
“The law enforcement profession has absolutely no room for employees with no integrity and the second a police officer breaks their oath and commits a crime, they are no longer a police officer” said Chief Lau.
Titusville Police will be able to comment on the specifics of the internal investigation when it has concluded, which could take several weeks. Irizzary was taken directly to the federal courthouse in Orlando by DEA agents after his arrest. The federal charges in the indictment carry a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 10 years.