While we can only hope Breaking Bad has a more exciting and tense ending, one crooked narcotics cop in the East Bay pleaded guilty today to charges of stealing and selling drugs from the evidence locker. Apparently he chose to go quietly into the arms of Johnny Law instead of making a daring escape onto a moving airplane or faking his own death.
In case you haven’t heard, here’s the “previously on” leading up to this finale: Our protagonist anti-heroes are Norman Wielsh, 50-year-old former Contra Costa narcotics officer, and private investigator Christopher Butler. Both were charged with stealing drugs from evidence lockers and selling it on the street.
The sales included marijuana, meth, and steroids, and were sold between 2009 and 2011. The two stole drugs previously confiscated during raids by Wielsh’s narcotics team.
As a secondary offense, Wielsh and Butler allegedly set up illegal raids of prostitutes during this time. They used Wielsh’s actual police officer status to intimidate and search the prostitutes, but then just kept whatever drugs and money they confiscated .
Butler has also been charged in an unrelated case with staging fake drunk-driving arrests of people targeted by his investigations firm, while Wielsh was accused of stealing personal items during a raid on a hydroponics store.
Butler pleaded guilty in May to the drug selling charges, and is expected to serve three years in prison. Butler’s defense attorney believes Butler got a lighter sentence due to his cooperation during the investigation.
Now, we get to the finale of this saga, where a tearful Wielsh pleaded guilty. He faces up to 17 years in jail. Sort of anti-climactic.
Maybe they’ve got some intense plan to break out of prison involving supermagnets ripping the bars off the cell and moving to Nicaragua to sell more drugs. Until then, it appears that it’s a wrap — pending Wielsh’s sentencing.