WEST VALLEY CITY -- The West Valley City Police Department has put another seven officers on paid administrative leave in the midst of a probe into allegations of corruption in the department's drug unit.
The agency sent out a news release late Wednesday night announcing that all of the officers from the former Neighborhood Narcotics Unit are now off the job. The new batch of officers taken off patrol includes a lieutenant, sergeant and five detectives. Two others were sidelined earlier.
This action comes just two days after Salt Lake County prosecutors announced that they were dropping another 69 cases from the now-disbanded narcotics unit.
To date, federal and local prosecutors have dropped 96 cases from the suburban department's drug unit due to a lack of credible evidence. The FBI is also investigating allegations of corruption within the unit.
The police and city officials of the Salt Lake City suburb disclosed last week that an internal review found that officers had mishandled evidence, kept souvenirs from drug busts and possibly lost drugs and money.
The review began in November after the police-shooting death of an unarmed woman, Danielle Misha Willard, 21. During a review of the shooting, investigators found "unrelated issues and concerns" that triggered a separate investigation, Deputy Chief Mike Powell said.
The two detectives from the unit involved in that shooting, Shaun Cowley and Kevin Salmon, have been on leave since that happened, following standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.
The new officers placed on leave: Lt. John Coyle; Sgt. Michael Johnson; and detectives Ricardo Franco, Sean McCarthy, Rafael Frausto, Chris Smith and Barbara Lund.