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Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 4 minutes ago State police arrested a Washington County police officer for allegedly stealing heroin from his station's evidence room, according to the Washington County District Attorney's Office....

Donora cop charged with stealing heroin from evidence room

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 4 minutes ago State police arrested a Washington County police officer for allegedly stealing heroin from his station's evidence room, according to the Washington County District Attorney's Office....

Donora cop charged with stealing heroin from evidence room

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Updated 4 minutes ago

State police arrested a Washington County police officer for allegedly stealing heroin from his station's evidence room, according to the Washington County District Attorney's Office.

James Bowman Johnson V, 29, a Donora police officer, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, theft, obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence and misapplication of entrusted funds, according to the criminal complaint filed against him Tuesday.

According to the complaint, released Wednesday by District Attorney Gene Vittone, Donora police seized two batches of stamp bags of heroin during an Aug. 10 bust. The stamp bags were put in separate evidence files — 133 in one envelope and 237 in another.

Two days later, an officer noticed the envelope containing the 133 stamp bags was missing, according to the complaint.

Police reviewed security footage from the evidence room that showed Johnson handling the evidence numerous times while it was in the patrol room, according to the complaint. Further footage showed Johnson “acting in a peculiar way,” police wrote in the complaint.

“For instance, at one point (Johnson) entered his patrol vehicle to retrieve his patrol bag, walked across the street with the patrol bag, only to return to his patrol vehicle approximately 14 seconds later with the patrol bag,” Trooper Jonathan Eberhardt wrote. “These actions appeared to serve no legitimate purpose.”

In November, Johnson, who has been a part-time officer since 2011, agreed to a police interview and admitted to taking the envelope of heroin, according to the complaint. He said he went back and forth to the evidence box multiple times as he was contemplating taking the heroin. He slid the envelope under his vest, took it to his bag in his patrol car and used the bag to transfer the heroin to his personal car.

According to the complaint, Johnson told investigators he took the heroin for personal use.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or [email protected]

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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