ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC-DT) -- A Rochester police officer has been placed on administrative leave and faces criminal charges.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has charged 31-year-old Vanessa Nicole Mason with the following five counts of misconduct:- Failed to perform duty - Exceeds authority - Warned subject of surveillance and search -Bribery of a public officer -Bribery aiding in prosecution of a crime
According to statements heard by the BCA, Officer Mason is accused of tipping-off drug dealers just before a search warrant was served. The complaint also alleges that Mason helped known drug dealers evade other officers while they had drugs on them. Other allegations include taking $10,000 in bribery money to turn her head away from a drug deal as well as drive loads of drugs up to the Twin Cities in her pickup truck.
The police department says it became aware of an allegation of misconduct involving Officer Mason and asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to conduct an investigation.
On April 7th, the BCA told the department the incident was reviewed by an independent prosecutor and was criminal in nature.
The RPD then placed Officer Mason on administrative leave. She has been a patrol officer for the past 4 1/2 years.
In 2006, Mason was disciplined for using illegal drugs while off-duty and for not reporting drug possession and use by another Rochester Police Department employee.
She was suspended without pay for 30 days.
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