LAPD captain investigated for possible link to Valley marijuana bust

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ByRob Hayes via KABC logo
Friday, December 1, 2017
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Capt. Phillip Smith, of LAPD's Rampart Division, is under investigation for possible links to a marijuana grow operation discovered in Sun Valley.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A top member of the Los Angeles Police Department is under investigation after the discovery of a marijuana growing operation in the San Fernando Valley.

According to an LAPD news release, officers responded to a break-in on Oct. 31 at a Sun Valley warehouse in the 8800 Block of Bradley Avenue.

When they arrived, they found evidence of marijuana cultivation there.

Then their investigation found something even more unsettling; an LAPD employee, the department said, was identified as being affiliated with the warehouse.

But what the department failed to say is that the employee in question is one of its top officers.

Eyewitness News has learned it's Capt. Phillip Smith, of LAPD's Rampart Division.

ABC7 was able to reach Smith through email. He denied any involvement in the cultivation operation and said he is the one who called police.

"I notified LAPD of the crime," Smith wrote in his email. "They investigated and it led to an illegal marijuana grow."

"The rest is the Department doing it's due diligence, conducting an investigation to ensure there was no impropriety on any LAPD employee's part. I can truly say I had no knowledge of any illegal marijuana grow or any involvement in it."

LAPD's media division has denied ABC7's request for an interview and is refusing to answer questions about Smith's possible involvement in the marijuana growing operation.

LAPD's Gang and Narcotics Division as well as Internal Affairs are involved in the investigation.

Until it's ironed out, the department says Smith will remain "assigned to home."