A former Pennsylvania State Police corporal has pleaded guilty to charges linked to drug thefts from an evidence room, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday.
According to a release from Shapiro, State Police Corporal Brian Rickard pleaded guilty to charges related to stealing drugs from the evidence room, ingesting them while on the job, and using office computers to cover up the thefts. Rickard was charged and suspended without pay in November 2021.
“Stealing evidence is a serious crime, and with today’s guilty plea Corporal Rickard has been held accountable for his actions. Opioid addiction harms Pennsylvanians in many ways, from making our communities less safe, to ruining livelihoods, to claiming thousands of lives,” Shapiro said.
Following a referral from the Wayne County District Attorney's Office, investigators learned that Rickard had been found at work "in a compromised state, unable to function normally, and made a commotion when he was told to return home."
Shortly after, another corporal found empty heroin packets and a crumpled evidence envelope in a trash can in Rickard's office. Investigators determined the heroin packets were stolen from an evidence room, and additional packets with the same branding were found in Rickard's home when it was searched.
Rickard pleaded guilty to acquisition of controlled substance by misrepresentation, obstructing adminsistration of law, tampering with physical evidence, forgery, and theft by unlawful taking before Judge Stephen M. Higgins in Monroe County. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Elo, and Rickard's sentencing will be held on Monday, Sept. 19.
This article originally appeared on Pocono Record: Wayne County DA investigation leads to PSP corporal drug charges