Feds: North Carolina police officer accused of selling cocaine while on duty

RALEIGH, N.C. — Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included a picture of the wrong man.

A North Carolina police officer is accused by federal prosecutors of selling cocaine while he was in uniform, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Raleigh police officer Keven Rodriguez was taken into custody by agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said at a news conference.

Rodriguez is charged with distribution of a quantity of cocaine and possession of a firearm in connection with that offense, Easley said. His arrest came after Raleigh police received information from confidential sources in late 2021 that Rodriguez was distributing drugs in Raleigh, according to Easley, referencing a criminal complaint.

On Jan. 24, Rodriguez allegedly met with a confidential informant and sold them cocaine for $2,600 in cash, Easley said, adding that he drove to the meeting in his patrol car, while in uniform and carrying his department firearm.

Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said Rodriguez is on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of internal and federal investigations. Patterson said Rodriguez has been with the department since 2018, WTVD reported.

“While I am disturbed by today’s events, I will not allow the actions of one to define the Raleigh Police Department,” Patterson said. “I will continue to hold myself and officers accountable to the highest standards of conduct both on and off duty.”

Easley said the investigation is ongoing.

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