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Veteran Maryland cop charged with stealing opioid pills from disabled, bed-ridden resident while on-duty

February 4, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Veteran Maryland cop charged with stealing opioid pills from disabled, bed-ridden resident while on-duty

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A veteran police officer in Maryland was arrested on drug-related charges after he was accused of illegally stealing opioid pills from a disabled resident who’s confined to a bed while on duty.

According to WJLA. Sgt. Christopher Michael Barnett, a 15-year veteran of the Hagerstown Police Department, was taken into custody Thursday after video evidence revealed he had “engaged in illegal activity on duty.”

A news release from Hagerstown police said Barnett was arrested at his home in Pennsylvania.

“I cannot and I will not make any excuses for this betrayal of our agency, our badge and our community,” Hagerstown Police Chief Victor Brito said during a Friday news conference. “I’m disappointed and quite frankly I’m sickened by this betrayal and this criminal act.”

Brito said during the news conference that police received credible evidence on Thursday, which was from a few days earlier, and the department responded within the hour.

Barnett was on-duty when he allegedly entered the apartment of a disabled, bedridden resident and went through the individual’s prescriptions.

The resident’s caregiver reportedly called the authorities after realizing the opioid pills were missing.

However, Barnett was the officer who responded to the call.

When he returned to the apartment, the officer was reportedly captured on video promising to return the pills and asking the caregiver not to report him to his superiors.

“Investigators were presented with video footage of Sergeant Barnett providing a prescription narcotic to another individual at a location within the city of Hagerstown,” the news release said. “Once police were able to corroborate the video with witness accounts, criminal charges were filed.”

Brito said Barnett was charged with distribution and possession of controlled dangerous substances as well as malfeasance in office and theft of less than $100.

Barnett has been placed on unpaid administrative leave “pending the resolution of the criminal case,” Brito added.

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