Former Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads No Contest to Felonies, Avoids Incarceration

In a recent development, former Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputy Matthew Allen Buckley has pleaded no contest to three felonies, allowing him to evade incarceration. The plea deal, finalized on Wednesday, includes charges of possession of an illegal assault weapon, filing a false police report, and preparing false documentary evidence.

Buckley, 42, was initially charged in February 2023 with six felonies and one misdemeanor following an investigation triggered by the relative of a deceased man. The relative had attempted to retrieve firearms seized by the police but grew suspicious when Buckley seemed uncooperative. The subsequent inquiry by the Contra Costa Sheriff’s office uncovered an AR-15 rifle and two grams of methamphetamine at Buckley’s Pinole residence.

Further investigation revealed that Buckley had been in possession of e-signatures belonging to Contra Costa County judges, potentially enabling him or any other officer with access to sign and serve fraudulent search warrants. The Contra Costa District Attorney’s office stated that Buckley had created false documents and signed for a judge without consent on multiple search warrant returns for unrelated cases.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Buckley had falsely claimed to have booked two guns into evidence but had instead kept the lower sections of the firearms for himself. These actions led to charges of filing a false police report and preparing false documentary evidence.

At Buckley’s preliminary hearing in July 2023, a sheriff’s investigator testified about another suspicious incident involving Buckley and a sergeant. During a training exercise, Buckley presented the sergeant with a form containing her signature, which she claimed to have never seen before. When questioned, Buckley allegedly dismissed her concerns, stating, “It’s fine, you know about it, so it’s all good.”

Buckley, a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who was previously honored as “Officer of the Year” in 2019, had also worked as a bailiff for Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, who attempted to recuse her office from the prosecution. However, the California Attorney General redirected the case back to the Contra Costa DA’s Office, instructing Becton to isolate herself from the proceedings.

While Buckley’s plea deal includes a prison sentence of three years and eight months, he has the opportunity to avoid incarceration if he successfully completes a six-month drug rehabilitation program.

Author: CrimeDoor

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