TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - One year ago, Tampa Police officer Mark Landry stood next to police Chief Brian Dugan and accepted an award for employee of the month. But four months later, his reputation and conduct would be under severe scrutiny.
A Tampa Police Department Internal Affairs investigation revealed that in September of 2018, a citizen made a complaint against Officer Landry and his partner, Officer John Laratta.
The citizen claimed both officers threatened him with physical violence.
Both officers denied it, but an internal affairs investigation revealed Laratta turned off his body camera three minutes into his interaction with the man, which is a violation of TPD policy.
Attorney Anthony Rickman reviewed the report, telling FOX 13, "We are not having these questions as long as the camera is on because the camera would corroborate what they are saying, one side or the other."
And Laratta did it more than once.
The seven-month investigation revealed Laratta turned off his body camera numerous times, during special calls.
Even more troubling, investigators said Landry and Laratta would make drug stops, dispose of the drugs and would fail to document it in a police report -- two egregious TPD violations.
"We don't know how it was disposed of, but we do know it wasn't placed into evidence like it should have been," Rickman said.
But Landry and Laratta's troubles may be just beginning.
Defendant Samuel Rosado, who was stopped in Tampa last August and arrested on drug charges, is now accusing both officers of criminal misconduct.
Rosado's attorney Ralph Fernandez wrote in court documents: "Counsel has become aware of credible claims of missing narcotics and monies seized from defendants."
Rickman said the allegations are serious.
"They are saying these officers stole, that there’s a pattern of stealing drugs and narcotics from defendants," Rickman explained.
The internal affairs report shows they did find a small amount of pot in Laratta's police vehicle.
However, the report did not find any evidence of theft, planting evidence or false arrests by either officer.
The investigation into both officers uncovered more misconduct by eight other officers.
The report concludes it shows a pattern of officers not documenting or filing reports on citizens they detain. and "disposing" of the drugs instead of entering it into evidence.
"When you see this many officers implicated in wrong-doing, you have to ask the question why it's happening and what’s going on at TPD?" said Rickman.
It is important to note that both officers both passed a drug test.
Currently three officers, including Landry and Laratta, have been relieved of their duties pending the outcome of an investigation.