Francois Thierry was charged Thursday evening with complicity in the possession, transport and acquisition of drugs and in the export of drugs as part of an organised gang, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Friday.
His squad came under investigation after seven tonnes of cannabis smuggled from Morocco was seized in Paris on October 17, 2015.
The police headquarters in Paris. Photo: AFP
The police were initially praised for the haul but it later emerged that it was part of a sting operation aimed at infiltrating a smuggler network, with the help of a notorious trafficker acting as an informer.
Investigators accuse Thierry of keeping his superiors in the dark about parts of the operation and the role played by the trafficker, allegations he denies.
He has been released on bail.
His lawyer Francis Szpiner accused prosecutors of "incredible hypocrisy", saying Thierry's methods had produced "exceptional results".