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Atascadero State Hospital police officer from Santa Maria pleads not guilty to firearms charges, embezzlement

Atascadero State Hospital police officer from Santa Maria pleads not guilty to firearms charges, embezzlement

Man arrested after warrant issued in October

Leonel Lazaro

Lazaro 

A Santa Maria man who works as a police officer at Atascadero State Hospital pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony firearms-related charges, including an accusation that he illegally purchased a gun for someone else. 

Leonel Lazaro, 36, appeared at Superior Court in Santa Maria, where he entered not guilty pleas to charges of providing a firearm to a prohibited person, possession of a firearm by a felon and embezzlement, according to records. 

Lazaro was arrested on Oct. 19 near the intersection of College Drive and Park Avenue following a warrant issued as a result of an investigation led by detectives from the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Bureau, according to spokeswoman Raquel Zick. 

He was booked into the Main Jail shortly after his arrest and has since been released on $35,000 bail. 

Lazaro is scheduled for a preliminary hearing setting at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Superior Court of Santa Maria. 

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The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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