The San Leandro narcotics detective of giving marijuana to a confidential informant is guilty of breaking his marriage vows, not of the felony charge against him, his attorney says.
Harry Stern said his client, Jason William Fredriksson of Danville, was most likely engaged in a sexual relationship with the woman who reportedly named him as the source of more than a pound of marijuana investigators found inside her San Leandro home.
Investigators then searched Fredriksson's Danville home on March 23 — a day before his 38th birthday — and uncovered "items supporting the allegation," San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said Friday. Authorities said they are investigating the source of the marijuana and are not releasing what they found inside Fredriksson's home.
"They haven't found anything other than circumstantial evidence," Stern said. "This whole case is based on speculation on the part of the authorities."
Fredriksson has been a detective in the vice/narcotics unit for about three years and is also a member of the department's SWAT team. He has been an officer with the San Leandro police department since 2002 and was an Alameda County sheriff's deputy for two years before that.
The detective has been under criminal investigation since March 18. That's when Spagnoli said she received a phone call from a San Leandro resident informing her that Fredriksson had provided marijuana to the confidential informant for her to sell.
Police say the transaction between Fredriksson and the informant happened on March 10.
The informant is the same woman with whom Fredriksson was engaged in an extramarital affair but is not the person who allegedly tipped off the police department, Stern said.
He said Fredriksson has not personally admitted to the affair.
The Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Fredriksson last Thursday with one count of transporting and furnishing marijuana for sale. He surrendered to the Hayward Hall of Justice the next day on a $50,000 arrest warrant before pleading not guilty to the charge.
His bail was reduced to $40,000, over the prosecutor's objection, because he is only facing a single charge and voluntarily surrended himself to authorities.
Fredriksson, who is free on bail, was placed on paid administrative leave in the days before his home was searched. Later his wife, Sheryll Cofreros Fredriksson, a San Leandro police dispatcher, was also placed on leave until an internal police investigation into the case is completed. She has not been charged with a crime.
The pair was married in August 2009.
Stern said Fredriksson "is a highly decorated officer" who might simply be the victim of bad timing: The Bay Area has recently been embroiled in involving the illegal sale of drugs in cities from Contra Costa County to San Francisco.
"There's an atmosphere of other police officers getting in trouble," Stern said, which has led to "hypervigilance" on the part of authorities in responding to the allegations against Fredriksson.
Stern added that he is sure this case is not linked to the scandal involving the now-suspended Central Contra Costa County Narcotic Enforcement Team.
In that case two police officers, from Danville and San Ramon; a former drug task force commander; and a Concord private investigator who was an Antioch police officer, have been on multiple felony counts, including the theft and sale of illegal drugs from evidence lockers.
Stern is directly involved in that case as the lawyer for San Ramon police officer who has pleaded not guilty to several felonies in connection with the CNET scandal, including conspiracy to sell drugs.
Fredriksson's sister is reportedly a police officer in San Ramon, though Stern would not confirm that.
The law firm in which Stern is a partner, Rains Lucia and Stern, is known for representing police officers in misconduct cases.
Spagnoli said Friday that the San Leandro Police Department "will not tolerate and deplores the conduct that has been alleged to have been engaged in" by Fredriksson.
Before moving to Danville, Fredriksson lived in Martinez. His father is retired from the San Francisco Police Department, while his mother is retired from a job as a preschool director in Alamo.
Fredriksson has two young children and is an avid motorcyclist and hot rod car enthusiast who likes to go on motorcycle rides with friends and to classic car shows. He is known to his friends and on Internet message boards as "Big Dirty."