Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento police officer due in court to face drug, weapons charges

A Sacramento police officer arrested last week on drug and weapons-related charges will be arraigned Monday on two felony counts.

Isaac Richard Knutila, 45, is charged with having a “loaded, operable firearm” while also being in possession of drugs, and possession of an assault weapon.

Sacramento police arrested Knutila on Nov. 4 at a local hotel, where detectives served a search warrant on him and found “usable” amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and more than an ounce of marijuana, according to interim police Chief Brian Louie.

At a news conference hours after the arrest, Louie said another law enforcement agency had tipped off the department that Knutila was seen in an area noted for prostitution.

Louie said the department began an internal affairs investigation of Knutila on Oct. 13 after receiving the tip. That surveillance culminated weeks later in Knutila’s arrest.

Knutila was initailly charged with four drug-related misdemeanor counts and a single felony charge of being in possession of drugs and the loaded firearm simultaneously.

The firearm was his department-issued service weapon, according to police.

Department spokesman Matthew McPhail later said Knutila had not been charged with prostitution-related crimes but “the investigation is ongoing.”

Court filings appear to show that Knutila is no longer facing the misdemeanor drug charges, but it is unknown what prompted the second felony assault-weapon charge.

The department did not return a call for comment. Knutila was not available for comment.

Knutila is a 16-year veteran of the force and was assigned to patrol, according to Louie. He has been placed on administrative leave, pending a decision on termination of employment. After being booked into the Sacramento Main Jail, Knutila was released the next day on $10,000 bail.

Louie said he could not release the name of the outside agency that tipped off the Sacramento department about Knutila, citing an ongoing investigation.

Anita Chabria: 916-321-1049, @chabriaa

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