Former Vancouver cop guilty of dealing pot on job
Published Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:49PM PST
Former Vancouver police officer Peter Hodson has pleaded guilty to dealing marijuana on and off duty.
The former constable was arrested and promptly fired from the force in April after a two month investigation into his activities.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of trust by a public officer and one charge of trafficking in a controlled substance in Vancouver provincial court on Tuesday. A fourth charge of break and enter with intent will be stayed.
Hodson's lawyer Vincent Michaels told ctvbc.ca that he and his client weighed their options before deciding on a guilty plea.
"We felt it was in his best interest in the circumstance as a whole," Michaels said.
Despite the change in fortune for Hodson, a former star basketball player and humanitarian, Michaels said his client remains upbeat.
"He is a positive individual," he said.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for June 1, 2 and 3.
Michaels declined to comment on what punishment he plans to seek for his client, but said, "I expect there will be a divergence on the positions of the Crown and the defence."
Hodson's offences date back to December of last year. Investigators found no evidence that other officers were involved in his crimes, but a civilian co-defendant, Oscar Lapitan, faces one charge of trafficking in a controlled substance. His case is still before the courts.
A special office involving as many as 30 officers was created to investigate the offences, and police received assistance from specialized units of the RCMP.
Convicted drug dealer Tyson Pappas told CTV News in April that his allegations launched the investigation into Hodson.
Pappas said that he was recruited to sell drugs for the officer, but decided to turn to the police when Hodson allegedly broke into his downtown Eastside rooming suite and demanded money from him.
Pappas said he agreed to wear a wire, and investigators listened in during several conversations between him and Hodson.
Vancouver Police Department Chief Jim Chu announced the charges against Hodson at a press conference on Apr. 21, describing the case as "shocking and disturbing."
Before he was a cop, Hodson played basketball for White Rock Christian Academy, and then at Langara College and the University of B.C.
He also founded an African literacy charity called Under the Reading Tree after a trip to Uganda.