The former Colusa police officer accused of embezzlement and grand theft appeared in a Colusa courtroom last week to enter a plea of not guilty to an additional slough of charges added by the District Attorney’s Office in early February.
Elden Henry Tamez, of Yuba City, pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of grand theft and one count of embezzlement in December after an investigation found that the 19-year veteran of the Colusa Police Department allegedly embezzled funds from the department between 2018 and 2019.
On Feb. 3, additional charges – which include two counts of grand theft of a firearm, four counts of receiving stolen property and grand theft of personal property – were added after a search of his home conducted Jan. 28 uncovered multiple firearms, police-style radios, handcuffs and other miscellaneous property believed to belong to the Colusa Police Department. According to the search warrant affidavit, investigators also found a wallet in a closet believed to belong to Colusa murder victim Karen Garcia, still containing identifying information.
A statement of probable cause for the search indicated that an evidence bag containing Garcia’s purse was found in Tamez’ former office at the department earlier that day.
The affidavit said investigators contacted Garcia’s family prior to conducting the search and they confirmed that the wallet, which was taken into evidence at the Colusa Police Department during the 2018 investigation into her disappearance, had not been returned.
During the time of that investigation, Tamez served as a lieutenant with the Colusa Police Department, second in command behind the police chief.
Tamez resigned from his position on Oct. 17, 2019.
Tamez will is scheduled to appear in court again on April 8 for setting of a preliminary hearing for both cases. The hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Department two of the Colusa County Superior Court, located at 532 Oak Street in Colusa.