Former Phoenix officer pleads not guilty to impeding investigation

Posted at 9:22 AM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 14:18:34-04

A Phoenix police officer accused of impeding an investigation into drug activity at a strip club has plead not guilty.

Richard Denny plead not guilty on Tuesday morning. His next court date is scheduled for August 9.

Denny and another officer, Sebastian Castillo, are accused of warning employees and customers at the club of "impending discovery, apprehension, prosecution or conviction," according to the indictment filed Maricopa County Superior Court. 

The investigation involved sale or transport of narcotics. The indictment specifically mentions marijuana as a target of detectives. It is unclear if other illegal substances were also a part of the case.

Denny and Castillo were first subject to an internal review by the department for their actions. In place of meeting with Chief Joseph Yahner, the pair have resigned their employment, according to a police spokesman.

"I hold the men and women of the Phoenix Police Department to the highest standards. I am extremely disappointed in the actions of these two officers," Chief Yahner said in a statement. "Their conduct has a negative impact on all the positive police work our officers do on a daily basis."

It was not immediately clear if the officers resigned before or after the grand jury returned its indictment.