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A man sentenced to 39 years in prison for assaulting a Long Beach police officer during a 2010 chase was ordered released from prison Thursday, part of the growing fallout after the officer’s arrest on perjury charges, officials said.
Miguel Vargas, 34, was arrested in 2010 after he was shot twice in the back by city police Officer Dedier Reyes, who alleged Vargas was reaching for a gun, court records show. The gun was never fired and Reyes did not allege Vargas pointed a gun at him, but Vargas was still convicted of assaulting a police officer and gun possession.
When coupled with sentencing enhancements filed because Vargas had a prior felony conviction and used a gun in the commission of a crime, the convictions led a judge to sentence Vargas to nearly four decades in prison.
But his conviction came into question late last year, after prosecutors charged Reyes and another Long Beach police officer, David Salcedo, in connection with a 2018 arrest. In that case, Reyes and Salcedo were “accused of lying about the circumstances surrounding the recovery of a handgun, which caused the wrong person to be arrested and briefly held in custody,” according to the district attorney’s office. Reyes was charged with perjury, falsifying a record and filing a false report. Salcedo was charged with falsifying a public record and filing a false report.