New Port Richey police officer arrested on drug charges - FOX 13 News

New Port Richey police officer arrested on drug charges

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NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) -

New Port Richey police officer John Nohejl sits on the wrong side of the law after a drug arrest Thursday.

It's safe to say his boss is not pleased.

"It is disgusting that I have to stand before you right now and speak about one of our officers being arrested for serious felonies," said New Port Richey Police Chief John Steffens.

But while Chief Steffens was disgusted, he says he's not shocked. That's because Nohejl, a 13-year veteran of the force, was already on administrative leave, stemming from an incident last April.

"On two occasions on one shift on April 16th through the 17th of last year, he was found in one of our marked patrol cars, with the engine running with himself fast asleep," said Steffens.

But that only scratches the surface of the things Nohejl has been accused of during his time as a cop.

Chief Steffens says he was suspended early in his career for taking sick leave to go gamble on a casino boat.

In 2008, he was investigated when he worked as a school resource officer at Gulf Middle school because his MySpace page, a page set up for him to connect with students, was linked to a sexually-oriented website.

An investigation found he did no wrong.

Later in 2008, he was accused of rape by a female friend and sexual battery by a woman he arrested.

Investigations into both found no concrete evidence, so he was not charged.

Thursday, he was arrested in Hernando County, where deputies say he tried to drive away from a traffic stop and discard nearly 30 prescription pills.

People who live in the area wonder why he was still a police officer at the time of his arrest.

"Somebody should have seen something before it got to this point anyway," said Nicole Parmelee of New Port Richey.

"He is our role model, the police officer is the role model for the community. What's this going to teach the kids?" said Alice Mazur of Pasco County.

Chief Steffens says it's because the department has a policy of progressive discipline, much like a points system. He had not collected enough points to be terminated.

But now it looks like Officer Nohejl has probably reached the end of the line.

Chief Steffens says he'll never patrol the streets of New Port Richey again.

"That's not going to happen," said Steffens.

Chief Steffens says he suspected Nohejl was more than just fatigued when he was caught sleeping on duty and tested him for "illicit substances."

Nohejl was arrested and charged with trafficking hydrocodone, possession of cocaine, fleeing to elude and tampering with evidence.

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