Officer in lapel camera investigation looking for a break

stockimg police lapel camera; generic

GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – He’s accused of stealing marijuana from his own police station, all while his own lapel camera was rolling.

Now, that fired police sergeant is looking for a break.

With his lapel video accidentally on, Sergeant Roshern Mckinney is seen entering his office at the Grants police station. The video shows him wrapping up a baggie State Police say is pot.

Investigators say he then takes it home and gives it to his girlfriend, Tanicka Gallegos-Gonzales, to give to her dad.

It’s the video that got McKinney fired and arrested.

His preliminary hearing was set for this week, but it was waived. According to the District Attorney’s Office in San Juan County, that’s because the former sergeant plans to apply for the DA’s pre-prosecution diversion program.

“With respect to the embezzlement, this case would be the type of case we would allow into the pre-prosecution diversion program,” said Dustin O’Brien, Chief Deputy District Attorney for San Juan County.

But the DA’s office admits he’s not the usual candidate.

“The difference in this case is, because, Mr. McKinney is a police officer and in a position of public trust and violated that trust,” said O’Brien.

They also insist a deal like this, isn’t one-sided. They call the two-year program intense, adding people in it must write a letter of confession.

“Then they’re going to give us the ability to convict them if they fail the program,” said O’Brien.

Even if McKinney does everything right, O’Brien said he doesn’t believe the former sergeant’s life would go back to normal.

“It still would be difficult I think for him to ever be a police officer again,” said O’Brien.

KRQE News 13 asked the State’s Law Enforcement Academy if another department could hire the former sergeant if he completed the program. They said they couldn’t comment on McKinney’s case specifically.

KRQE News 13 also reached out to McKinney’s attorney but did not hear back.

If he’s not accepted into the program, he faces up to six years in prison if convicted of the felony charges.

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