Sun, Aug 21 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Neal Putnam
A former Chula Vista police officer pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to “capping” during a blackjack game at an east county casino.
In committing the misdemeanor offense, Jesus Angel Salazar, 30, increased a wager after learning what the next cards were before they were turned over.
His bets were about $100.
On June 30, Salazar, resigned from the Chula Vista police department. He had been with the agency for nine years.
In an unrelated case, Salazar also plead guilty to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge.
“I unlawfully placed or increased a wager after acquiring knowledge of an event which is subject to the wager,” wrote Salazar on a document in El Cajon Superior Court.
Following his guilty plea, the Sycuan Resort & Casino in El Cajon released security footage to ABC affiliate KGTV Channel 10 on Aug. 17 that showed Salazar quickly looking at cards that were faced down in several plays.
A security official told Channel 10 there are multiple cameras placed over every table.
“This is very good evidence. The camera tells no lie,” said Steve Van Slyke, of the Sycuan Gaming Commission.
Salazar was arrested at the casino June 3 at 1:30 a.m. after security observed his cheating. He was placed on three years probation by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Joe O. Littlejohn, who ordered him to stay 100 yards away from the casino.
Salazar was fined $510, and given credit for one day spent in jail.
A second misdemeanor charge of petty theft was dismissed.
Salazar appeared before El Cajon Superior Court Judge Sharon Majors-Lewis for the misdemeanor drunk driving offense on Aug. 16 and was placed on five years probation, which will run concurrently with his other probation.
He was ordered to participate in the first conviction program and attend a workshop for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Salazar was ordered to perform nine days of public service and fined $2,074.
Deputy District Attorney Nicole Roth said Salazar was given a standard sentence like any other first offender.
“I drove a vehicle while having a blood alcohol level greater than .08, and greater than .15,” wrote Salazar on a court document.
The drunk driving incident occurred on April 9 around 1:30 a.m. and he hit a stop sign with his vehicle. No one was injured, but Sycuan Tribal Police turned him over to the California Highway Patrol for booking.
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