FBI arrests South Lake Tahoe police officer

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KRNV & -- After years of investigation and 14 months of administrative leave, officer John Poland is under arrest for several very serious crimes.

"It became clear that the ability for him to work as a police officer was completely compromised," said South Lake Tahoe Chief of Police Brian Uhler.

Uhler says they had no choice but to place Poland on administrative leave back in November of 2011.

"We couldn't count on him to do the right thing and take care of his fellow officers," Uhler said.

Since then, South Lake police and the FBI have been building a case that could lead to multiple felony charges. Poland is accused of interfering with a federal drug investigation, witness tampering, and attempting to destroy evidence.

"Any police officer who would divulge that kind of information to people that are connected in any way, shape or form with a gang is compromising the safety of fellow officers," Uhler said. "That's a significant problem."

An FBI report says Poland was seen off duty with the girlfriend of a known gang member and drug trafficker - during law enforcement surveillance of the woman.

It also says they got a tip from two criminal defendants that Poland had given up the identities of police informants and had given out the home addresses of South Lake Tahoe officers.

"All of the things he's accused of are quite serious," Uhler said. "This is an unusual case. I've been in police work for 33 years and this appears to be an officer on the edge willing to compromise the rules, the department and his own safety as well as the safety of others."

Uhler says Poland is scheduled to appear before a judge Thursday for the federal crimes he's accused of, and the El Dorado County District Attorney's office may also file its own charges in connection with accusations that Poland had sexual relationships with multiple underage females while working as a school resource officer.