[UPDATED with Stiffer Sentence:] Ex-Deputy Allan James Waters Guilty of Causing Crashes While Hopped Up on Pills

UPDATE, JULY 1, 1:18 P.M.: After his first sentencing hearing was postponed because Allan James Waters showed up to court drunk, the former Orange County sheriff's deputy finally learned his fate today: two years and eight months in state prison.

The 37-year-old Laguna Niguel resident had been looking at a maximum sentence of 16 months in prison, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Frank Fasel withdrew that penalty after Waters appeared before him June 10 with booze on his breath.


UPDATE, JUNE 14, 1:18 P.M.: Former Orange County sheriff's deputy Allan James Waters will not face additional counts after authorities suspected him of being drunk at his scheduled sentencing on charges of causing an injury accident while driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Though the bailiff says he smelled alcohol on Waters' breath Friday and the judge postponed sentencing to consider new charges, the prosecution now says there is insufficient evidence to pursue additional penalties.

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Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon reportedly says Waters was not intoxicated to the point of being legally considered drunk in public and a safety threat to others.

Waters is now due back in court for sentencing on the original charges to which he previously pleaded guilty.

UPDATE, JUNE 10, 3:33 P.M.: Just when you thought the case against Allan James Waters could not get any more bizarre, the former Orange County sheriff's deputy allegedly showed up to his sentencing in Santa Ana today drunk as a skunk.

Keep in mind that Waters pleaded guilty in April to driving under the influence of prescription drugs while off-duty, crashing his Mercedes into a Lexus and, about an hour later, a Toyota, injuring a 78-year-old woman. Investigators later determined that get his meds, Waters repeatedly switched doctors, falsified documents and once traded fake cocaine for black market pills.

A condition of Waters' release on $100,000 bail was that he not consume alcohol.

A court bailiff informed prosecutors that Waters' breath smelled of alcohol when he showed up at court today, and Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon used that as his basis to ask Orange County Superior Court Judge Frank Fasel to increase the 37-year-old Laguna Niguel resident's bail. Fasel upped it to $250,000, postponed sentencing on the counts Waters already pleaded guilty to, and set a Wednesday hearing to consider new charges based on the courtroom appearance. Waters is already looking at up to 15 years and four months in the clink.

No wonder he needed a drink.


UPDATE, APRIL 7, 3:15 P.M.: Orange County sheriff's deputy Allan James Waters, 37, of Laguna Niguel, pleaded guilty today to driving under the influence of prescription drugs while off-duty and crashing into and injuring a 78-year-old woman.

Waters, who collected a mountain of medication by falsifying information, repeatedly switching doctors and even trading a substance he claimed was cocaine to a pusher for pills, could get up to 15 years and four months in state prison at his June 10 sentencing hearing in Santa Ana.

He pleaded guilty today to one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, two felony counts of selling a substance in lieu of cocaine, nine felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to an elder.

UPDATE, NOV. 1, 2010, 4:11 P.M.: Additional charges have been filed against an Orange County sheriff's deputy who was off-duty and allegedly drugged-up when he crashed his Mercedes into a Toyota in Laguna Niguel, injuring a 78-year-old woman--just a half hour after he plowed into a Lexus outside Dana Point City Hall.

Allan James Waters is now further accused of illegally obtaining prescription pills by providing false information and repeatedly switching doctors.

He was under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the March crashes, according to prosecutors who later claimed an investigation discovered Waters exchanged money and fake cocaine for Opana and Oxycontin.

"On nine occasions between March 2009 and March 2010, Waters is accused of going to eight different doctors to obtain prescription drugs Opana and Oxycodone," reads the new statement. "He is accused of giving the doctors false stories in order to illegally obtain the drugs. When one doctor would stop providing a prescription for the defendant, Waters is accused of moving on to a new doctor."


The full statement from the Orange County District Attorney's Office follows after the break . . .

November 1, 2010

OCSD DEPUTY CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY OBTAINING PRESCRIPTION PILLS BY PROVIDING FALSE INFORMATION AND REPEATEDLY SWITCHING DOCTORS
*Defendant was previously charged with injuring 78-year-old in prescription drug DUI crash and using fake cocaine to buy prescription drugs

SANTA ANA - Additional charges were filed Oct. 29, 2010, against an off-duty Orange County Sheriff's deputy for illegally obtaining prescription pills by providing false information and repeatedly switching doctors. The defendant was previously charged in this case on June 9, 2010, for injuring a 78-year-old woman after crashing into her car while driving under the influence of prescription drugs and using fake cocaine to purchase prescription drugs.

Allan James Waters, 37, Laguna Niguel, is charged with one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, two felony counts of selling a substance in lieu of cocaine, nine felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to an elder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and four months in state prison. Waters is out of custody on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Dec. 17, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. 

Prescription Drug Charges
On nine occasions between March 2009 and March 2010, Waters is accused of going to eight different doctors to obtain prescription drugs Opana and Oxycodone. He is accused of giving the doctors false stories in order to illegally obtain the drugs. When one doctor would stop providing a prescription for the defendant, Waters is accused of moving on to a new doctor.

Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury Charge
At approximately 4:45 p.m. on March 1, 2010, Waters is accused of driving southbound on Golden Lantern Street in Dana Point. He is accused of failing to stop and crashing into the back of a vehicle that had stopped at a red light in front of him. Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) responded to the scene and released Waters and the other driver approximately 30 minutes later after taking a report of the incident. The responding deputies were aware that Waters was an OCSD employee.

At approximately 5:20 p.m., seven minutes after leaving the scene of the first crash, Waters is accused of driving northbound on Golden Lantern Street. He is accused of driving erratically including failing to accelerate at a green light, stopping partially in an intersection on a red light, and almost crashing into a passing motorist. Multiple drivers called 911 to report his driving.

Waters is accused of swerving and hitting the curb before over-correcting and swerving to his left. He is accused of crossing over the middle lane and crashing into a vehicle driving in the far left lane. The victim's vehicle was forced over a planter onto the wrong side of the road, where it came to a stop facing northbound in the southbound lanes.

The defendant is accused of driving forward for a short distance before coming to a stop. OCSD deputies arrived at the scene and contacted the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to investigate. CHP officers contacted Waters at the scene. The defendant is accused of displaying objective signs of drug intoxication including slurred speech, a lack of balance, and trouble following directions. Waters is accused of being impaired while driving and under the influence of prescription drugs Zolpidem and Hydrocodone. He was arrested at the scene. He was later released pending further investigation.

The driver of the victim's car sustained minor injuries. The passenger in that vehicle, a 78-year-old woman, was transported to the hospital and sustained injuries to her back, for which she later had surgery.

Original Drug Charges
During the driving under the influence investigation, detectives also began investigating Waters for drug-related charges. On April 15, 2010 and April 30, 2010, Waters is accused of meeting a friend after arranging to receive Opana and Oxycontin from her in exchange for money and cocaine.  He is accused of providing the friend with a fake white powdery substance under the false pretense that it was cocaine.

OCSD arrested Waters June 9, 2010. The driving under the influence case was investigated by CHP and the drug cases were investigated by OCSD.

Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.


 UPDATE, JUNE 11, 2010, 5:08 P.M.: We told you in March about Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Allan James Waters, who was off-duty and allegedly drugged-up when he crashed his Mercedes into a Toyota in Laguna Niguel, injuring a 78-year-old woman--just a half hour after Waters plowed into a Lexus outside Dana Point City Hall.

In announcing the arrest and charges against Waters this week, the Orange County District Attorney's Office revealed an odd twist--even odder than responding deputies who knew who Waters was letting him drive on after the first crash.

[UPDATED with Stiffer Sentence:] Ex-Deputy Allan James Waters Guilty of Causing Crashes While Hopped Up on Pills

An internal probe by the sheriff's department revealed 36-year-old Waters of Laguna Niguel had allegedly dealt phony cocaine to help pay for his prescription drug addiction.

Jeez, they're really lowering the bar over at the academy, no?

He is accused of failing to stop and crashing into the back of a vehicle that had stopped at a red light in front of him on Golden Lantern Street in Dana Point around 4:45 p.m. on March 1.

Deputies, who "were aware that Waters was an OCSD employee," according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, let their fellow deputy and the Lexus driver go about a half an hour later, after taking a report.

About seven minutes after leaving the scene of the first crash, Waters is accused of driving erratically on Golden Lantern by failing to accelerate at a green light, stopping partially in an intersection on a red light, and almost crashing into a passing motorist.

"Multiple drivers called 911 to report his driving," reports the OCDA.

He allegedly went on to swerve, hit a curb, over-correct, swerve to his left, cross over the middle lane and crash into the Toyota in the far left lane, forcing the sedan with an elderly couple inside over a planter onto the wrong side of the road, where it came to a stop facing northbound in the southbound lanes.

At the behest of responding OCSD deputies, California Highway Patrol officers arrived to investigate--and discovered that Waters displayed "objective signs of drug intoxication including slurred speech, a lack of balance, and trouble following directions."

It was later determined, prosecutors claim, that Waters was under the influence of prescription drugs Zolpidem and Hydrocodone at the time of the crash.

The Toyota driver sustained minor injuries, but the 78-year-old woman passenger was hospitalized for injuries to her back that later required surgery.

As the CHP conducted its DUI investigation, OCSD detectives looked into the drug allegations.

"On April 15, 2010, and April 30, 2010, Waters is accused of meeting a friend after arranging to receive Opanas and Oxycontin, prescription drugs, in exchange for money and cocaine," states the OCDA. "He is accused of providing the friend with a fake white powdery substance under the false pretense that it was cocaine."

Waters, who was arrested and released by the CHP after the crash, was popped for the drug deal Wednesday afternoon and held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

He now faces with one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury and two felony counts of selling a substance in lieu of cocaine with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

If convicted, Waters could get up to seven years and four months in state prison.

He was scheduled to be arraigned today.


ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 5, 2010, 3:01 P.M.:
The Orange County Register's Kimberly Edds has a fascinating post today about California Highway Patrol officers determining an Orange County Sheriff's deputy was drunk Monday when he crashed his Mercedes into a Toyota, causing it and the elderly couple inside to collide with a tree in Laguna Niguel--just a half hour after the same deputy was allowed by a couple of his fellow deputies to keep driving after the Mercedes wrecked with a Lexus outside Dana Point City Hall.

At the time of the crashes, 13-year veteran Deputy Allan James Waters was on paid administrative leave, but for what the sheriff's office isn't saying.

The deputies on Golden Lantern took a report before letting the drivers be on their way, Assistant Sheriff Mike James confirmed for Edds. What Waters did not know was he was being followed by a citizen so concerned with his erratic driving, she called 9-1-1. Then came the crash less than a mile away in Laguna Niguel, where Waters wasn't so lucky with the CHP officers, who sent the deputy to county jail with a driving-under-the-influence arrest.

The CHP report states, "due to Waters' level of intoxication, he unsafely turned his Mercedes to the right." That set off a chain of events that led the Mercedes to crash into the Toyota with Benjamin and Dolores Molina inside. She had to be hospitalized.

Edds writes on the "OC Watchdog" blog:

Among the questions The Watchdog has heaped on the Sheriff's Department: Was Waters under the influence when he crashed in front of City Hall? Did deputies investigating the first traffic accident miss the signs of intoxication? Or did deputies give a break to a troubled colleague?

James answered that the department is looking into all aspects of the case, claiming, "We are taking this very seriously. We have to do a very thorough and complete investigation. We're not going to speculate what happened."

Waters apparently spent two nights in lockup. The CHP is awaiting results on a test of the alcohol level in the deputy's blood around the time of the accident.

He probably knew the deputies who took the Dana Point call, seeing as how he is assigned to the same division.


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