DA will dismiss 3 cases involving fired Antioch detective

December 20, 2019 GMT

ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors will move to dismiss three cases potentially tainted by the testimony of a former Antioch detective who was fired in 2017 for leaking information to known criminals, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced Thursday.

Former Antioch Detective Santiago Castillo’s misconduct was exposed through records obtained by news organizations that are part of the California Reporting Project, which is collecting officer misconduct and serious use-of-force information throughout the state under a new police transparency law.

The records show Castillo was suspected of sharing confidential information with suspected criminals as far back as 2010, KQED News reported. When internal affairs investigators confronted Castillo, they found his explanation, that he sometimes told informants police were watching them “to scare them,” was not credible. Investigators also found Castillo had submitted overtime that he didn’t work and had mishandled evidence.

After the district attorney’s office learned of Castillo’s misconduct, “numerous” cases in which the veteran officer had testified were reviewed.

“At the end of that review, I determined that there were three cases for which we could not be certain that the interests of justice were served by the outcome, and out of an abundance of caution, we’re going to move to dismiss those cases,” Deputy District Attorney Brian Feinberg said.

The cases to be dismissed include two 2016 misdemeanor convictions for reckless driving, according to the DA’s office. A felony conviction for resisting arrest, which will also be dismissed. A spokesman for the DA’s office wrote that the case was “too old” to provide charging documents.