Ex-Officer in N.M. Says His Actions Were Wrong, Not Criminal

Story by koat.com


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --

Former Albuquerque police officer Brad Ahrensfield was recently convicted of tipping off a friend who was the focus of a federal investigation. He spoke exclusively to Target 7 about the incident, saying it was bad call but not a criminal one.

“I don’t think the story has really been told,” Ahrensfield said.

Ahrensfield may be spending the next 20 years in prison.

“I regret the whole situation. I do,” Ahrensfield said.

He was found guilty of obstructing justice for telling his close friend Shawn Bryan his business was being investigated for drugs and stolen property. With Ahrensfield’s sentencing just weeks away, he said he won’t go silently.

“It was a bad judgment call. I’ll never say I’m not guilty of making a bad judgment call, but I never had any criminal intent. I never had any personal gain,” he said.

Ahrensfield said Albuquerque police officer Ron Olivas told him about an undercover investigation into an employee at Bryan’s business in September 2009. He said Olivas told him, knowing that he and Bryan were friends and that Ahrensfield’s son worked there.

Ahrensfield took that confidential information and removed his son from the job. It’s what happened after that he said isn’t true.

“As the FBI spelled it out in the trial, that I had all this information about operation, I didn’t have that information,” he said.

He admitted to Target 7 that he got the information, called Bryan, picked him up and told him a shady employee was being investigated for selling drugs and stolen property at the dealership. Ahrensfield said Olivas never said the FBI was involved or looking at Bryan directly. Since he didn’t know that, he said there’s no way he could have blown the FBI’s case.

“I’m terrified; I going to head to prison and the truth isn’t going to be told. That’s the worst nightmare. That’s the stuff that wakes you up at night,” Ahrensfield said.

With sentencing just a few weeks away, it’s nearly inevitable that the former police officer and military man will end up behind bars. Ahrensfield said the stress of the case and his impending sentence has taken an emotional and physical toll on him and his family. His father died of a heart attack weeks after he was convicted.

“Yes it plays through your mind. It plays through your mind every waking moment of every day, every minute, every hour,” he said.

All of this, however, doesn’t change the fact that Ahrensfield leaked confidential police information. It’s information that put undercover investigators in grave danger, prosecutors said.

Ahrensfield said all he wants is to be treated fairly. The officer who leaked the information to him got 120 hours from the force, he said.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Ahrensfield’s lawyer has asked for his sentencing to be postponed.

Copyright 2011 by KOAT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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