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Antioch PD fired prominent detective giving info to a drug dealer, stealing evidence

ANTIOCH – Police in Antioch fired a prominent detective in 2017 for “reprehensible conduct”  that included endangering the safety of other officers by leaking information to drug dealers and committed additional misconduct, including stealing evidence and falsifying time records, documents show.
Sgt. Santiago Castillo was given a termination notice in November and 2017 and later resigned, according to documents the department released late Monday.
“Your reprehensible conduct seriously jeopardized the credibility of this department as an effective law enforcement agency,” Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks wrote to Castillo. “I find that your conduct was egregious.”
According to news accounts, Castillo investigated several homicides between and 2012 and 2015 was part of the department’s violent crime unit in its investigative bureau.
State records Santiago joined the department in 1998 and was promoted to sergeant in 2002.
According to records released Monday under S.B. 1421, the new transparency measure, other officers were concerned about Castillo’s conduct for years.
“Castillo had been suspected or sharing sensitive and confidential police information with people in the criminal element as far back as 2010,” an internal affairs investigator wrote in a report. The detective had a “significant measure of influence over this organization,” but “that trust has been waning in recent years.”
Castillo told drug dealers police were watching them, investigators found and said he wasn’t credible when he denied knowing a person’s whose name is censored in documents was a drug dealer.
When confronted over wrongdoing, Castillo wasn’t credible in his answers, the investigator wrote. In once instance, he claimed he didn’t know someone who came to a barbecue at his house “wasn’t a gang member (or drug dealer)…despite the fact that (the person) was covered in gang tattoos, including a gang member.”
Castillo told investigators that he sometimes told criminals things “to scare them” but denied providing sensitive information to them,
Investigators also found that Castillo put in for overtime he didn’t work and sometimes called in sick without putting in for sick time.
He was also found to have stolen a power drill from the department’s evidence room.
Check back for updates on this breaking story.
Sukey Lewis of KQED contributed to this story.
This story was produced as part of the California Reporting Project, a collaboration of more than 30 newsrooms across the state to obtain and report on police misconduct and serious use-of-force records unsealed in 2019.

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