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Former Contra Costa deputy negotiates plea deal on illegal weapons, falsifying police report charges

PIX Now - Morning Edition 2/21/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 2/21/24 09:00

A former Contra Costa County deputy has reached a plea deal on multiple felony charges including illegal weapons possession and falsifying evidence, according to the district attorney's office.

In a press release, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office announced it reached a negotiated plea against 42-year-old Matthew Allen Buckley for offenses committed when he was serving as a deputy with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. Just over a year ago, Buckley was charged with six felonies and one misdemeanor related to offenses that occurred in 2020 and 2022.   

Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy Matthew Buckley. Contra Costa District Attorney's Office

According to the release, Buckley pled no contest to three felonies -- including possession of an illegal assault weapon, filing a false police report, and preparing false documentary evidence -- in a negotiated disposition. Buckley will receive a prison sentence of 3 years and 8 months, which he can serve on mandatory supervised release if he successfully completes a six-month drug rehab program. 

The case began in September 2020 when Buckley falsely claimed to have booked two illegal AR-15s into evidence after participating in the execution of a search warrant in Antioch. Instead, he separated the upper sections from the lower sections of the firearm, returning the upper sections to the original owner and keeping the lower sections of the firearms. During an internal investigation into Buckley's actions, the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department determined that he created false documents and signed for a judge without his consent on multiple search warrant returns for unrelated cases. 

Buckley was arrested in August 2022 on several felony counts related to illegal weapons after deputies searched his residence and found the lower sections of the AR-15s as well as a small amount of methamphetamine. Pursuant to California Government Code, Buckley will be legally ineligible to serve as a police officer. Additionally, the felony convictions have made it illegal for Buckley to possess firearms and ammunition.   

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