Drug agent admits to trafficking
A drug agent who stole methamphetamine and cocaine from the El Dorado County evidence locker is facing a minimum of 10 years in prison after he admitted to one count of trafficking in more than 28 grams of a controlled substance.
Mark Alexander Zlendick, 48, may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years to life and a $500,000 fine.
According to his attorney, Zlendick’s plea agreement caps the sentence at 10-25 years in prison. The judge may impose a harsher sentence when Zlendick appears in court again on April 11.
In exchange for his guilty plea, a variety of other charges related to the removal of drugs destined to be destroyed, will be dropped.
He also would not face federal or California prosecution connected to the case.
Zlendick was a member of the South Lake Tahoe Drug Task Force. He was arrested May 19, 2015, after Douglas County deputies responded to his home on Centerville Lane for a disturbance. Zlendick’s girlfriend at the time told deputies that they were arguing over the large amount of drugs they were doing. She said Zlendick brought home 10 ounces of methamphetamine and cocaine from the South Lake Tahoe evidence vault.
Deputies searching the home found 1.4 ounces of methamphetamine and cocaine.
According to the criminal complaint, Zlendick had been taking drugs from the locker between Feb. 1 and the date of his arrest.
Zlendick is no longer employed with the sheriff’s office, attorney David Houston said. He asked that a GPS monitor be removed, but District Judge Tom Gregory ordered it stay on.
“He is looking at going to prison for a long time,” he said. “The GPS is a good tool to keep track of him.”
District Attorney Mark Jackson prosecuted the case.