Phoenix police officer arrested, accused of theft during traffic stop

Posted: Updated:
Officer James Wren By Jennifer Thomas Officer James Wren By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix police officer was arrested Thursday night in an undercover operation.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, investigators arrested Officer James Wren, 23, on four felony charges, including conspiracy, attempted theft, attempted money laundering, and public servant participating in a criminal syndicate.

A person involved in the narcotics trade gave Avondale police information that a Phoenix officer was stealing money from drug couriers while on duty.

On two occasions, Wren reportedly stopped couriers who had drug money and then he and a non-police associate took that money and split it later.

The thefts involved drug money but not drugs.

Police set up an undercover operation Thursday night. Public Safety Manager Jack Harris said Wren was arrested after an attempted theft of $40,000 that he believed was drug money.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Wren admitted involvement in all three cases.

Wren was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail.

He has resigned from the police department.