SANFORD, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned a Sanford police officer was put on administrative leave for her relationship with an alleged drug dealer.
Federal agents said Sgt. Cynthia Littles-Irvin, a 15-year veteran of the force, was the live-in girlfriend of Damieian Tillman, an alleged drug dealer who was arrested after a five-month investigation into an alleged drug trafficking ring.
Littles-Irvin has been placed on administrative leave while the Drug Enforcement Agency and her own department investigate.
Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith released a statement, saying, "It's disappointing, but we as an agency must value the trust of the community and when situations like this occur we need to take swift and decisive action to protect the integrity of the police department and the community trust."
Tillman, 30, and 33-year-old Elizabeth Taylor were arrested by DEA agents following a five-month investigation into a prescription drug trafficking ring.
According to the charging documents, Tillman sold about 240 pills to an undercover agent and Taylor engaged in several drug transactions between Tillman and her customers in the Lake County area.
During the investigation, it was discovered Tillman's live-in girlfriend was Littles-Irvin.
Both the DEA and Sanford police stress that there is no
indication Littles-Irvin was connected to the drug operation. However, the Sanford Police Department has decided to place her on leave until a thorough investigation can be completed.