Leonel Lazaro

Lazaro 

A Santa Maria man who works as a police officer at Atascadero State Hospital pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony firearms-related charges, including an accusation that he illegally purchased a gun for someone else. 

Leonel Lazaro, 36, appeared at Superior Court in Santa Maria, where he entered not guilty pleas to charges of providing a firearm to a prohibited person, possession of a firearm by a felon and embezzlement, according to records. 

Lazaro was arrested on Oct. 19 near the intersection of College Drive and Park Avenue following a warrant issued as a result of an investigation led by detectives from the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Bureau, according to spokeswoman Raquel Zick. 

He was booked into the Main Jail shortly after his arrest and has since been released on $35,000 bail. 

Lazaro is scheduled for a preliminary hearing setting at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Superior Court of Santa Maria. 

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