H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Dec 9, 2013 8:46 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Former SLO police detective sentenced in extortion case

Former San Luis Obispo Police Narcotics Detective Cory Pierce was sentenced in federal court Monday. He pleaded guilty to extortion back in July.

According to the original complaint, Pierce took cash and drugs from two people, was using drugs on the job, and had become addicted to pain killers.

Pierce was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell says this particular case is about two things: addiction and accountability. He considers Pierce's actions a stain on the department and says Monday is a turning point.

As for Pierce, he was with the department for six years. With regards to his pension, California law says if a public employee is convicted of a felony related to his or her job, forfeiture of benefits begin on the day the crime was committed. In Pierce's case, that would have been in late 2011. Any benefits that were earned or accrued prior to the crime date are not affected.

"My objective straight from day one was to ensure that this person was never a police officer again," said Chief Gesell. "That objective was met. Beyond that, there's been a criminal prosecution."

Since Pierce's arrest, both the San Luis Obispo Police Department's Narcotics Unit, as well as the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Narcotics team, are now being randomly drug tested.

Pierce, who is 40 years old, was arrested at his home in Arroyo Grande in February of this year. He has also been ordered to pay $5,500 in restitution and is set to begin serving his sentence on January 27.

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