Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2022. 8:55 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Police Department has announced that the firearm recovered from Joel Benito Choco of Lords’ Bank on Monday morning was apparently the issued firearm of a police officer working at Prosecution Branch office in Eastern Police Division.
That officer, 43-year-old Marcus Locario, faced disciplinary charges and a heavy fine for managing to lose the weapon after a night of special duty at MJ’s Night Club ten days ago.
According to police, Locario was on special duty on November 12 starting around 11 p.m. at the nightclub and took the weapon with him. He came off duty around 4 a.m. the following morning and rode with a co-worker to the Prosecution Branch’s office on North Front Street, where he apparently slept on a chair inside.
He was woken up at about 20 minutes to 5 by a fellow officer who asked whether he was going to catch a bus home, which he said he would. The same officer asked for the firearm but Locario was not able to produce it and according to the police report, was not sure whether he got to the office with the weapon, which carried fourteen live nine-millimeter rounds, or not.
Locario made a formal report and disciplinary tribunal proceedings were instituted on November 18, which concluded today, Tuesday. Officer Locario was fined $200 having been found guilty of loss by neglect. He was further surcharged $3,195 for the value of the weapon and the ammunition at seventeen dollars to a total of $3,212.00.
Choco has been separately charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license and his case is pending before the courts; it has yet to be established how he came to possess the firearm.
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