The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 5, 2012

Former Beckley PD technician charged, agrees to plead guilty to stealing narcotics from evidence room

U.S. District Attorney Booth Goodwin announced Friday morning that criminal charges have been filed against Gabriella Brown for obtaining a quantity of oxycodone by fraud from the Beckley Police Department evidence holding room.

Brown, who was the evidence technician at the department, has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal information charge, according to Goodwin.

Goodwin said when this case came to light at the end of August, pills had been submitted to the evidence room and when an officer came to collect the evidence, 22 pills were missing.

“She admits as part of the plea agreement that she has stolen narcotics on a number of other occasions.”

Goodwin said the case will be assigned to a federal district judge and a motion to schedule a guilty plea hearing will be made.

He said at this point, he could not put a number of the total amount of narcotics Brown acquired, but she has agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Brown would face a maximum of four years in prison, but Goodwin said sentencing guidelines may not require the maximum sentence.

He said he does not anticipate any additional charges to be filed against Brown.

“It is critical that she has agreed to cooperate so we can bring this matter to a swift conclusion.”

He said he believes this was the appropriate resolution to the matter.

“At this point, we are not foreclosing the possibility, but all indications are that she is the only person involved.”

Goodwin said he has spoken with Chief Tim Deems, who said Brown resigned her position from BPD as of Thursday.

“This provided a wake-up call, not just at the Beckley Police Department, but for all police departments, to make sure checks and balances are in place.”

Goodwin added, “I have every confidence that nothing like this will happen again.”

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