A former Minneapolis police officer has been convicted of stealing drugs he seized during searches and traffic stops.
Ty Jindra, 29, was found guilty in federal court of three counts of acquiring a controlled substance by deception and two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday.
“Ty Jindra failed to uphold his oath as a peace officer, he failed the community he was sworn to serve, and he failed his fellow officers,” Acting United States Attorney W. Anders Folk said in a statement.
From September 2017-October 2019, while he was an officer with Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), Jindra obtained methamphetamine, oxycodone, fentanyl, tramadol and other drugs by conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures, and then didn't report, log or put the drugs into evidence, the release said.
Jindra, on some occasions, would search a person, vehicle or home so he could secretively recover drugs without his partner seeing him, the release said. And at times, he conducted searches that were beyond what was warranted in an attempt to recover drugs.
According to the Star Tribune, in one instance he stole Tramadol, a synthetic opioid, during a traffic stop for his own use and did not mention he discovered the drugs when he filed his report. In another instance, he separated some oxycodone pills for himself during a traffic stop, hiding the pills in a latex glove. He then submitted a false report claiming all the pills were in evidence.
He was also convicted of illegally searching vehicles during traffic stops in violation of the Fourth Amendment that prohibits unreasonable searches.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Jindra faces a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison for each of the three counts of acquiring a controlled substance and a maximum of one year in prison for each of the two civil rights counts.
A sentencing date hasn't yet been scheduled.
Jindra was hired by the Minneapolis Police Department in 2013 and was fired in July 2020 after he violated department policies related to searches and seizures, charges said.
He was charged with an 11-count indictment in November 2020. His trial lasted nine days, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. He was found not guilty on six other counts he faced.