DOUGLAS COUNTY, NEVADA (CBS13) — A decorated El Dorado County Sheriff's deputy who served on a drug task force is now accused of dealing drugs.
Neighbors say Mark Zlendick lives with his girlfriend on a quiet cul-de-sac in Douglas County, Nevada. It was a 911 hang-up call that brought investigators to the home on Tuesday night and arresting one of their own.
It's an arrest that seemed unlikely for so many reasons. Zlendick wasn't just a long-time sheriff's deputy, but he was also assigned to Slednet—a multi-agency task force dedicated to taking drugs off the streets.
Now, he's accused of dealing meth after an alleged domestic dispute turned into a drug bust.
It was hard to miss the commotion on Tuesday night in the otherwise peaceful retirement community.
"There must have been 11 sheriff's cars all over," said Rick Szeliga.
He and his wife Susan immediately suspected drugs.
"I saw him take the dog out of the squad car and it went into those bushes over there and sniffed and sniffed and sniffed," she said.
The Douglas County Sheriff's office says they did find drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the home of a lawman who as recently as 2013 was awarded Crime Scene Investigator Of the Year by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.
Outside the deputy's home on Wednesday, several people rushed inside, refusing comment. Zlendick was nowhere to be found. He's free on bail as he prepares to face drug charges that could put him away for years.
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that Zlendick is on paid administrative leave. He's worked with the department since 2004.
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