An Orange County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty Friday and was immediately sentenced to 120 hours of community service for taking a debit card from a suspect and handing it to her son, who then used it.
Angelina Cortez, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of filing a false report, was also placed on one year of informal probation.
Cortez, 41, was charged last September with a felony count of filing a false police report. She could have faced a maximum sentence of three years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor by an Orange County Superior Court judge over the objections of prosecutors, according to the 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 said.
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 Department Sgt. Dennis Breckner.