The United States Attorney's Office released the following information:
A former detective with the San Luis Obispo Police Department has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for extorting sources he cultivated while working on a narcotics task force.
Cory Pierce, 40, of Arroyo Grande, was sentenced Monday afternoon by United States District Judge Margaret M. Morrow.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Morrow sentenced Pierce to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $5,500 in restitution.
Pierce was ordered to begin serving his sentence by January 27. Pierce, who served with the San Luis Obispo Police Department for six years, pleaded guilty in June to a federal extortion charge.
When he pleaded guilty, Pierce admitted that while assigned to a narcotics task force, he cultivated as sources an individual who had been arrested for heroin possession, and the man's girlfriend.
Pierce obtained painkillers from the sources in exchange for providing them with placebo oxycodone pills that they could sell.
As part of the plea agreement, Pierce admitted to using his position as a police officer to obtain $11,000 from someone who he thought was a drug dealer in exchange for the placebo pills.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.