TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A Titusville police officer is accused of trying to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine worth $40,000, according to a federal indictment.
Richard Irizarry was indicted on Thursday on charges of participating in a drug deal while carrying a firearm.
Officials said Irizarry is charged with attempting to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine, possessing a firearm in furtherance of the drug distribution and using a telephone to facilitate the drug distribution.
"All of us in the department are shocked at this. None of us have ever experienced anything like this in our department," said Titusville police Maj. Todd Hutchinson.
According to court paperwork, Irizarry has been on leave since the offenses were committed on Jan. 19.
He has been ordered to forfeit any property or money he obtained from drug trafficking and any firearms and ammunition he owns.
If convicted, Irizzary faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up 40 years in federal prison.
The Titusville Police Department is moving to supend Irizarry without pay after a hearing, but he cannot be terminated until an internal investigation is completed.
"This is an isolated incident and it involved only him and no other department members. This really isn't related to our department. It's activity that he was involved in," said Hutchinson.
Irizarry had a clean record as a police officer and passed a thorough background check when he was hired.
He has been a patrol officer since 2010, and before that, he was a Marine for 20 years -- a gunnery sergeant and equal opportunity adviser.