DA: Ventura County deputy gets prison for tossing drug test


Richard Charles Barrios III, 29, will serve a year in prison after pleading guilty to throwing away a drug test proving a woman innocent, California prosecutors said.

A former California sheriff’s deputy convicted of tossing a woman’s urine test after it turned up negative for drugs will serve a year in prison, authorities said.

Richard Charles Barrios III, 29, pleaded guilty in November to destroying physical matter, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

After a year in prison, Barrios will serve two years of parole, a judge ruled Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Barrios pulled over a woman driving in Camarillo in November 2019 and accused her of driving under the influence, McClatchy News reported. Another deputy concurred with his assessment.

The woman denied using drugs but agreed to take a urine test if Barrios would apologize and drive her back to her vehicle if it was negative, prosecutors said.

At the Camarillo Police Station, Barrios tested the woman’s urine sample for drugs, which came back negative, prosecutors said.

He threw the urine test in a trash can, told a supervisor the woman had refused to be tested and arranged for her to be taken to jail, prosecutors said.

When the woman protested to another deputy, he found the discarded urine test in the trash and notified his superiors, prosecutors said.

The woman provided a second urine test, which also tested negative. An investigation found Barrios never administered a narcotics evaluation as he had claimed in a report.

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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