New allegations have surfaced accusing a former Contra Costa County drug task force commander and one of his co-defendants of running a brothel in Pleasant Hill.
Former Central Contra Costa County Narcotic Task Force Cmdr. Norman Wielsch and Christopher Butler, a former Antioch police officer and private investigator, both 49, have been charged with conspiracy; selling methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids; and possessing methamphetamine, marijuana and steroids for sale.
Wielsch allegedly stole the drugs from law enforcement evidence lockers and Butler allegedly arranged to have them sold, according to court documents.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Two other defendants, former Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy Stephen Tanabe, 47, and San Ramon police Officer Louis Lombardi, 38, have also been charged in the case.
Wielsch's attorney Michael Cardoza said that within the past few weeks Butler allegedly gave law enforcement officials a 34-page document claiming that he and Wielsch were involved in running the alleged brothel, but he said the document was fiction.
"Norm Wielsch was not involved with running a brothel," Cardoza said. "Chris Butler has made up this fairy tale."
He said he believes Butler was running an alleged brothel by himself and dragged Wielsch's name into it to persuade prosecutors to offer him a reduced prison sentence in exchange for turning in dirty cops.
"Butler leased the property. He bought the furniture from IKEA. He brought it to the premises and put it together. He hired the girls. He collected the money," Cardoza said.
"He says he was forced to do it" because he was afraid of Wielsch, Cardoza said. "But if you know Butler, nobody forces him to do anything. He's a tough guy."
Cardoza added that when Wielsch was arrested, he confessed to the drug-related charges and cooperated with police without asking for a lawyer, but he never mentioned anything about prostitution "because it isn't true."
Butler may have named other police officers in the document he gave to investigators but not in connection with the brothel, Cardoza said.
Butler's attorney William Gagen could not be reached today for comment.
Contra Costa County Prosecutor Harold Jewett said today that he couldn't confirm any of the allegations related to prostitution. He explained that he couldn't comment on an ongoing investigation.
"We're going to follow this investigation wherever it leads," he said.
No charges related to prostitution have been filed, he said.
Pleasant Hill police also could not be reached for comment.