City fires officers convicted of drug smuggling

August 3, 2010

The two San Luis Obispo police officers who plead guilty to charges they had attempted to bring Mexican prescription drugs into the United States by way of the San Ysidro port of entry were fired following an internal investigation.

On Sept. 16, Border Patrol officers confiscated more than 800 pills, including both uppers and diet pills, from the two officers. Neither Dan McDow nor Armando Limon had prescriptions for the Spanish labeled drugs.

In May, the officers pleaded guilty to misdemeanors charges in exchange for no jail time and a year of unsupervised probation.

The city issued the terminated officers their final paychecks last Monday. The department paid Limon $150,530 and McDow $154,697 while they were on paid administrative leave. [Tribune]

The officers’ attorney, Alison Berry Wilkinson, said the men plan to appeal the city’s decision to terminate them.The officers have offered to reimburse the city for their compensation while on paid administrative leave by volunteering with the city or taking the equivalent in unpaid leave.

City officials are refusing to release the results of the city’s two-month investigation calling it a personnel matter which is protected under the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act and the California Penal Code.

North County

I hope SLOPD does their police investigations better than their internal ones. ( I know they don’t)

Here are the facts:

1. The two cops were detained at the Mexican border with the pills on September 15, 2009.

2. They plead guily in May 2010.

3. They get terminated on August 2, 2010. SLOPD officals needed 11 months to conduct their internal investigation which in reality was done for them with the criminal case. So they get three more months of pay for sitting on their asses before they are fired. Trust me it is the “good ol boys.”

As we all know the private sector gets their mug shots in the paper with a good ol Tribune article about guilt.

I know a criminal case where the tribune person showed up every day for the prosecution and then bailed for the defenses case but still wrote about this high profile case.

I would love to know what these two highy paid officers are saying to get their jobs back. Uh, sorry. Opps just a moment of bad judgement. Funny that what get’s most folks arrested. I don’t them them getting “do overs.”

There is a double standard that is out there and when the back cops use it for their own personal gain or bone to pick. If the administration doesn’t do something about it, it just like having a two year old and when he throws a tantrun in the store you give him the candy to shut him up.

Good luck boys, your going to need it.


Another example of government corruption in every possible way.

Completely disgusting.

These guys should be made to pay back the money they were paid while they were breaking the law, and not be awarded a cent since then – seein’ as they themselves were breaking the law.

They have absolutely no business getting paid for not doing what they were paid to do – “enforce” the law. Does anyone in the private sector get paid for not doing their job?

Why isn’t the SLO citizenry storming the city council meetings DEMANDING an end to this type of misuse of privilege, corruption, blatant in your face misuse of their hard earned money?


The CEO of BP Oil I think pretty much got paid for doing nothing. He sure as heck couldn’t remember doing anything when he was being questioned in front of congress. Now expand that to multi-billion dollar private companies that rape you of your money everyday. PG&E comes to mind.

It’s funny to see comments like, “They make to much money in the first place,” or, “Get rid of them and see how long the line is for their jobs.” If the money is so good, how come the vast majority of people aren’t in line, including us, to be cops. Most of the people that do get in line, can’t pass the testing and background.

Another favorite, “They are wasting my tax dollars!” If you add up all the revenue sources that fund the police department and the part that you contribute, you are probably right when you say “dollars.” You probably contribute not much more than two dollars (if that much, depending on how much you earn) to an individual cop’s wages for the year.


How did these guys make $150k each while on leave? Is this the pay they usually make, or for some reason do they get a raise when the are in hot water? I thought policemen were paid alot less than this. Where do I go to apply?


Do any of you morons realize what due process is. Have any of you heard of Police Officers Bill of Rights. Bottom line is they screwed up and they got fired, it takes a long time when things are complicated like this case which Queen Karen does not know all the facts. Linden did her job and Parkinson probably had very little say in the decision. Now I am sure the king of smack talking “Save SLO county” ie (Gary Hoving) will chime in and blame it all on Parkinson. Hoving had perverts and molesters working under him and he did nothing to them. Cop jobs have civil service protection, canning one is not easy when they fight to save their job, usually they just bow out quietly and go into hiding.


Due Process??

Are you kidding me? You are defending someone caught red handed smuggling illegal drugs across the border? Hiding behind “Police Officers Bill of Rights” and “civil service protection”?

How very sad.


br549 is actually defending the process, not the actions of the officers. People need to realize there is a process for everything in this country and we don’t just hang people on the spot. The cops were obviously wrong and deserved to be fired but there was a PROCESS that had to take place…..if you don’t like the process, work on changing that.


Nice try, wrong guy. Hoving probably knows a bit more about due process than I. My issue remains in poor management and lack of leadership in our government. I have always been supportive of the honest cops on the street and only critical of the mismanagement of government leaders. This issue resided on the desk of Chief Linden and should not have taken this long to resolve. The due process will actually continue because the article says they will now appear the termination.


br549: Please try to get at least some of your facts correct before throwing my name down. I am a frequent reader of this site as well as the Five Cities Times and the Tribune. Yet, the only letter to the editor that I have ever written was in support of the candidate of my choice for Sheriff and not one negative word was said about any of the other candidates. I am not involved in local politics and have not attacked anyone. If you would bother checking, you would find that the “pervert” was arrested two years after I left the job. You are so quick to call the other readers “morons” while you talk your trash and speculate while hiding witin a blog.

Kevin Rice

Due process is great. The Police Officers Bill of Rights is a crime against the public passed by legislators whored-out to the unions.


br549 before you start calling people morons for feeling the way they do about this case, you’re not totally correct in your comment of the Police Officers Bill of Rights. Yes they exist, and yes organizations must abide by them, but nothing is written that SLOPD could not have fired these two officers months ago. The process would have continued, w/o pay. If they appeal and win, during their release from duty, they get a nice fat check for the months they were off the pay roll and get their jobs back. So get your head out of your administrations backside and allow people to vent their frustrations w/o being called morons.


Offering you a little more civil reply, I felt the same at first about the total. Then it occured to me that also may include accrued vacation time (which you would pay out) and in a lot of civil service jobs in this state, some people can have three or more months saved up.


Yeah, They make more money than LA cops. Not bad for a high school education and a few weeks of training. Seems like most gov employees managed to increase their salaries and benefits beyond reason along with securing themselves rights that are unheard of in the private sector while we were all looking in the opposite direction. Can’t trust any of them.

When the State goes bankrupt they will all have renegociate their agreements and that’s when the people will have the opportunity to take control of this and get them all back in line. There is no way we will ever be able to meet the retirement plans

they have awarded themselves.


$305,000 could have been spent repairing and maintaining the race-car Charger fleet for 58 months.



Let us also not forget that Officer McDow was manipulating an elderly women and taking advantage of her, using his authority to gain her trust. What a POS! Meanwhile Debra LInden turned a blind eye and hasn’t done anything with that situation. GET RID OF LINDEN. She has made SLOPD a laughing stock. Her leadership or should I say lack of has really brought this PD down. I say the city needs to clean house.


Just another example of the culture of corruption centered on SLOPD and SLOSD. Expect more of the same if Mr. Parkinson is elected sheriff.

This is quite obviously a political move meant to bolster Mr. Parkinson’s election efforts. The questions revolving around this incident abound on different boards online and this move provides an opportunity to say ‘see, we fix the problem’.

Completely transparent.

Kevin Rice

You anti-Parkinson fanatics are like Tea Partiers blaming Obama for everything. Try to maintain a shred of credibility, please.


slorealitycheck, give it a rest. Officer McDow didn’t take advantage of that elderly woman. That whole story was proven to be totally unfounded. You’re just as bad as the rest of the gossip mongers.


This sure seems like it took too long to come to this decision, which is truly the only outcome that could (or more importantly should) have happened. To say that the monies spent on these two “officers” is an outrage does not even begin to approach how I personally feel about this issue. For this one story, I don’t even want to speculate about Captain Parkinson; this is completely and only on Chief Linden; she should resign, now.


Kudos to Karen Velie who had this story long before anyone else. I suspect we never would have known about it without her original reporting. Thank you, Karen!

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NOW they volunteer to give back the paid leave compensation. Hmm sounds like some guys want back their well paid jobs. To little, to late a**holes!!


I guess we do have a right to our money back! Partner.!