San Jose community officer faces FBI probe, weapons charges

October 23, 2021 GMT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A community service officer for San Jose has been charged with gun-related crimes after the FBI linked him to online comments advocating the killing of police officers.

Denis Shevchenko, 40, was charged this week with three misdemeanor counts of illegal weapons possession after police searched his home and found at least nine firearms, including an illegally modified assault rifle.

The search was prompted by an FBI probe, which traced inflammatory posts on the social media platform Gab to Shevchenko. According to a court papers, Shevchenko allegedly solicited people to shoot police officers and others based on their political ideologies.

“These allegations are extremely serious and are being fully investigated to determine the extent of any criminal conduct by our employee, and the extent to which any others may be involved,” San Jose police Chief Anthony Mata said Friday.

Shevchenko also had a loaded revolver in his locker at a police substation when community service officers are not allowed to carry a gun while on duty, police said. CSO’s are responsible for non-enforcement police tasks like taking non-urgent reports and maintaining crime-scene cordons, thereby keeping sworn officers available for emergency response, the East Bay Times reports.

Shevchenko has been released on bail and placed on paid administrative leave pending the police and FBI investigation, Mata said.

It’s not known whether Shevchenko has retained a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

Shevchenko is a former sworn police officer with the San Jose and Pinole police departments. He joined San Jose’s CSO program around the time it began in 2014.