Suspended state trooper pleads guilty to stealing from evidence room in Honesdale

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Jun. 30—A suspended state police corporal awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to stealing heroin from the Honesdale barracks' evidence room and other charges.

Cpl. Brian Edward Rickard, 49, Honesdale, entered the plea Wednesday during an appearance before Monroe County Judge Stephen M. Higgins in Stroudsburg.

State police charged Rickard in November with stealing heroin from the Honesdale station's evidence room, ingesting it while at work and at home, and using work computers and programs to cover it up.

He pleaded guilty to acquisition of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, obstructing administration of law, tampering with physical evidence, forgery and theft by unlawful taking, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Rickard, who joined the state police in 2003, remains suspended without pay, pending sentencing, state police spokesman Lt. Adam Reed said Thursday.

His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 19.

Rickard's arrest came after an investigation that began after another trooper drove him home Nov. 5 when appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic at work, according to the criminal complaint.

Inside his office, state police found an evidence envelope from a criminal case in which 50 bags of heroin stamped "Summer Fun" had been seized that had only 20 bags inside.

Investigators found five empty bags with the "Summer Fun" stamp and a straw in his office, and additional empty packets with the same branding were later found at his home, police said.

Investigators alleged he took the heroin seized in several investigations from evidence and forged signatures to do so.

The attorney general's office received the case on a referral from the Wayne County district attorney's office.

Contact the writer: dsingleton@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9132