CENTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Investigators said a police officer in Beaver County stole drugs and cash from an evidence room for more than a year, all while holding the title of D.A.R.E. officer.
Jeffrey Stone is charged with unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and obstructing the administration of law.
The alleged crimes happened while Stone was still on the force. He resigned from the Center Township Police Department when he was confronted about the missing narcotics.
Stone was the primary custodian of the evidence room for 16 years, which gave him full access to all secured items. He also served as the department’s D.A.R.E. officer, a role for which he received an award.
Pennsylvania State Police said evidence bags had been tampered with, drugs and cash were replaced with filler and the bags resealed. State police said heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, prescription drugs and cash were missing.
According to an affidavit, Stone raised suspicions when he appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance while on duty. After an inspection of his work space, Chief Barry Kramer worried that Stone might be stealing from the evidence room.
Steven Valsamidis, Stone’s defense attorney, said, "He's absolutely remorseful. He's embarrassed and he understands how bad this is for the entire community, his co-workers and the Police Department."
Valsamidis said this only proves how bad the opioid drug epidemic is.
"There's no nefarious conduct alleged here. Everything you see relates to an addiction and just how powerful an addiction it is,” Valsamidis said.
The district attorney said the missing drugs and money were evidence in several ongoing criminal cases, which are now in jeopardy.
Stone turned himself in on Thursday and was later released after posting bond.
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Cox Media Group