Pitchess deputy arrested on suspicion of drug charge 

Los Angeles County Fire department officials and law enforcement personnel responded to an unidentified incident where 17 patients were identified as needing medical attention at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, Calif., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023. Chris Torres/The Signal

In response to questions asked May 2 about the arrest of a deputy who worked at Pitchess Detention Center, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Tuesday issued a statement confirming the arrest of an LASD employee.  

“The department’s Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau initiated an investigation into the allegations involving an employee. We arrested the employee on April 30th for felony charges,” according to an email Tuesday from Nicole Nishida, communications manager for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  

“The employee is relieved of duty pending the outcome of the case,” she added. “This is an ongoing investigation. Once the case is completed it will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.” 

Michael Meiser, 39, was arrested after an investigation by the LASD’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau, according to custody records available online. 

He was arrested at 5:15 p.m. April 30 and booked at the SCV Sheriff’s Station jail 1 a.m. May 1. Departmental records online did not have any information available regarding his release. 

His booking charge was listed as suspicion of violating California Penal Code section 4573(a), a felony that involves a person bringing a controlled substance into a jail. 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials referred all questions to the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.  

Nishida declined to confirm Meiser’s identity Tuesday or his employment status, instructing The Signal to make a Public Records Act request. The department takes months to process such requests. 

A representative for the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs said the organization was aware of an investigation under way that could involve multiple deputies. 

“We are aware that there is a criminal investigation underway regarding one or more employees working in our jails,” according to an emailed statement Tuesday attributed to ALADS President Richard Pippin. “All law enforcement professionals are rightfully held to a high standard both on and off duty. ALADS will wait until we have access to all the information yielded by the investigation before commenting further.” 

The Signal was alerted to the investigation last week, and when questioned, department officials said they were holding off on the release of any information regarding the situation, citing that it’s part of an active, ongoing investigation. 

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