Erik Michael Krause, Huntington Beach Cop, and Michael John Zannitto, Garden Grove Officer, Guilty of Conspiring to Fix Traffic Ticket

Categories: Court, Crime-iny
A jury Thursday found police officers from Garden Grove and Huntington Beach guilty of conspiring with each other via texts and phone calls to get a traffic ticket dismissed for a woman who promised them free booze.

Erik Michael Krause, 44 and a 22-year veteran of HBPD, and Michael John Zannitto, a 47-year-old who has been on the Garden Grove force 11 years, each face sentences ranging from probation to a year in jail.

Krause issued a then-32-year-old woman a traffic citation for speeding near a stopped school bus on Nov. 9, 2011. Later that same month, Zannitto, who did not know Krause at the time, met the same woman at Knott's Berry Farm while off-duty and not in uniform. She brought up her traffic ticket, and Zannitto said he could get it "fixed."

Zannitto texted the woman on Dec. 6, 2011, asking for a copy of her citation, which she sent seven days later. The cop later instructed her to contest the ticket via written declaration. Zannitto got ahold of Krause on Jan. 25, the same day the woman requested a trial on her citation, paid a $234 fee and contacted Zannitto to confirm she had followed his instructions. Between that day and Feb. 3, Krause informed Zannitto that he would take care of dismissing the woman's traffic citation.

Meanwhile, the woman let it be known to Zannitto, who let it be known to Krause, that through her job she could hook the cops up with free booze.

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