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LA Fire Captain Allegedly Caught Buying 7 Balloons Of Heroin In Drug Bust

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Los Angeles City Fire captain is facing drug charges Friday after being caught up in an LAPD heroin bust.

Police said narcotics officers conducting a sting operation at North Figueroa and Avenue 61 in Highland Park made several arrests on Wednesday afternoon — including Capt. Matthew Phillipsen.

"They were posing as sellers of heroin, heroin dealers, and apparently an L.A. City Fire Dept. captain purchased this bogus heroin from one of the undercover officers," said Det. Gus Villanueva.

Phillipsen, 52, was booked on charges of attempting to obtain narcotics after police said he purchased seven balloons' worth of what he believed to be heroin.

"It's a significant amount for one person," said Villanueva.

There was no response when KCAL 9's Melissa McCarty attempted to contact Phillipsen at his home on Wednesday night.

Police said Phillipsen is now under two concurrent investigations.

A statement from the LAFD said its "professional standards division has been notified and will be conducting an investigation along with any criminal investigation."

Phillipsen, who is free on $10,000 bail, is scheduled to be arraigned next week.

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