An Orange County sheriff’s deputy is facing a felony charge for allegedly taking a debit card from a suspect and handing it to her son, who then used it, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Angelina Cortez, 41, is charged with one felony count of filing a false police report. She faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Cortez and a training officer responded to a report of a suspect stealing wine and batteries from a 7-Eleven store in San Clemente on Nov. 19, 2018. She took the suspect’s debit card — which was never booked into evidence — and later gave it to her son, who used it, prosecutors allege.
Cortez, who is on administrative leave, is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 18.
“This charge is the result of an incident that was identified and investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and then provided to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office with the expectation of filing criminal charges,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun said in a prepared statement.
“Deputy Cortez has been on administrative leave since June 2019 awaiting a decision from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. With charges filed, the department will now proceed with an internal administrative investigation.”
Court records show the date of violation as Dec. 4, 2018, which is when the deputy filed her report on the alleged theft without the debit card as evidence, said Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Breckner.