Another felony conviction dropped amid criminal probe of Antioch officers

ANTIOCH — Once again, federal prosecutors have dropped a felony conviction involving an Antioch police officer, as several within the department continue to be investigated for drugs and other crimes, court records show.

Antioch resident Richard Jobe, 37, pleaded guilty to possessing two guns, in Antioch and Pinole, within a three-month period. Last December, a federal judge sentenced him to seven years in prison. But now the U.S. Department of Justice has dropped the Antioch gun conviction and is renegotiating a plea deal with Jobe’s attorneys.

Jobe will likely plead guilty to the Pinole gun charge later this year and be re-sentenced to a lesser prison term, according to court records. His next court date has been set for July.

Jobe’s case is the latest in a series of more than a dozen dismissals in federal court by the U.S. Attorney’s office since late March, when authorities announced they were probing potential “crimes of moral turpitude” committed by an unspecified number of Antioch and Pittsburg officers. Multiple law enforcement sources have said the charges pertain to alleged involvement with cocaine and steroids, but that federal authorities are also reviewing fatal use-of-force incidents involving some of the officers.

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office is conducting its own review of ongoing cases and convictions due to the investigation, a spokesman for the office told the Bay Area News Group.

In Jobe’s case, he was arrested in December 2020 for allegedly possessing a pistol. An Antioch police dog bit Jobe during a physical altercation with the officer, according to the complaint.

Court records don’t identify the officer, but they do identify the dog as the K9 Purcy. The Antioch police department’s website says Purcy was assigned to Ofc. Morteza Amiri. The site also says that K9 dogs are assigned to their partners for years and live with the officers at their homes during off-duty hours.

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Amiri was involved in at least one other dismissal. In that case, he claimed to have seen Antioch resident Kardell Smith throw a gun through a window. Prosecutors charged Smith with being a felon in possession of a firearm, but like Jobe, they dismissed the case after Smith pleaded guilty. Prosecutors wrote in a court document that “the government has uncovered evidence that undermines its confidence in the conviction,” the same language used in Jobe’s dismissal.

Antioch police have not named any of the officers who have been placed on leave or are being investigated by the FBI.

Jobe has been in jail since February 26, 2021, records show.

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