Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento police arrest colleague at hotel on suspicion of possessing drugs while armed

A Sacramento police officer was arrested on several drug-related charges Friday night at a local hotel, including a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance while carrying a loaded gun, the Sacramento Police Department announced Saturday morning.

Isaac Richard Knutila, 45, was arrested after detectives issued a search warrant for the officer following an internal investigation that started in October. Police found several drugs on Knutila, as well as in his car, including cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and more than an ounce of marijuana, according to Deputy Chief Brian Louie.

He was booked into the Sacramento Main Jail at 6:03 a.m. on Saturday morning, facing four drug-related misdemeanor charges in addition to the felony charge, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department records.

The gun in Knutila’s possession at the time of the arrest was a department-issued weapon, Louie said.

Knutila is a 16-year veteran of the department and was assigned to patrol, according to Louie. He has been placed on administrative leave in light of his arrest, pending a decision on termination of employment.

The department launched an investigation into Knutila after receiving a tip from an outside agency on Oct. 13 that he may have been involved in prostitution-related activities, Louie said, adding that the agency was conducting an unrelated investigation. Louie said he could not release the name of the outside agency, citing an ongoing investigation.

“He was spotted in an area where there’s high prostitution,” said Sgt. Bryce Heinlein, a spokesman for the police department.

The Sacramento Police Department immediately launched an internal investigation into the allegations, with assistance from outside agencies, police said. Detectives were able to find enough evidence to issue a search warrant, according to Louie.

The police department said a criminal and administrative investigation is ongoing. The Sacramento District Attorney’s Office is also working in conjunction with the police department, according to Louie.

Louie said Knutila could face additional charges if police find evidence of other criminal wrongdoings. Police said there was no indication that Knutila committed illegal activities while on duty, he added.

“We hold our officers to the highest standard, and I assure you that these actions don’t reflect upon the hard working men and women of the Sacramento Police Department,” he said Saturday morning.

Knutila is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. His bail is set at $10,000.

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Anita Chabria contributed to this report. Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets