A San Antonio police officer has been arrested in a bribery sting operation.
According to a statement issued by the Department of Justice, Officer Curtis W. Lundy, 36, has been charged with theft of honest services by wire fraud.
Lundy is accused of taking $500 from a man he had detained for possession of marijuana in exchange for holding off on filing charges against the man.
According to the statement, on Dec. 15, 2012, Lundy responded to a call concerning an assault in progress at a Northside apartment complex.
There, he detained a man in connection with the assault. The man told Lundy that he had a small amount of marijuana and, according to the statement, Lundy told the man he would delay filing charges in exchange for a $400 payment.
During subsequent phone conversations, however, Lundy raised the amount to $500.
According to the statement, the man contacted the FBI earlier this week about the matter. At the direction of the FBI, the man was able to record cell phone conversations between he and Lundy.
During one of those conversations, Lundy told the man to meet with him on Thursday, Jan. 3, to collect the payment.
Surveillance teams observed Lundy arrived at the predetermined location in a marked SAPD patrol car to collect the envelope -- which contained $500 -- from the man.
According to the statement, authorities arrested Lundy Thursday night after his shift was completed. San Antonio police Chief William McManus said he made the arrest himself, calling it a "kick in the gut."
“There are few things in public service that are worse than a bad cop," said McManus. "It angers me and disgusts me because we work very, very hard to build public trust for this police department and an incident like this is a kick in the stomach."
He said that is why he decided to put the handcuffs on Lundy himself at the Northside sub-station where he was assigned.
"It sends a very, very strong message, a very clear message internally and publically,” McManus said. “I’m simply not going to tolerate this and I'm going to be involved with it if it ever happens."
McManus said it was the first time he’s personally arrested one of his own since becoming police chief.
He also said he was at a loss to explain why Lundy, who was on the force less than four years, would risk everything for an alleged $500 bribe.
If convicted, Lundy faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. For now, Lundy is in on administrative leave with pay.
McManus said the investigation continues into whether Lundy allegedly has committed other crimes.
Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, said reaction among the rank and file is that of shock.
“Some of it is anger that this type of activity was even taking place,” Helle said.
Lundy appeared before a U.S. magistrate Friday morning and was released on a personal recognizance bond.
Lundy's arrest was the result of a joint operation by FBI agents together with SAPD's Internal Affairs department.
Lundy was the second San Antonio law enforcement official arrested on Thursday. Bexar County sheriff's Deputy Susana Cervantes was also arrested on unrelated charges.