Former Elizabeth Borough police chief charged with stealing drug evidence and money

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By Steve Pope | December 20, 2018

The former Elizabeth Borough police chief was arraigned Thursday on drug, theft and obstruction of justice charges and released on his own recognizance.

Timothy Butler, 42, of Finleyville, allegedly stole 9,809 stamp bags of heroin or fentanyl, as well as money from parking meters, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

Authorities alleged in the complaint that Butler was addicted to pain killers and other drugs and had been stealing the drugs from the police evidence room.

The complaint said the thefts were discovered in early December by now-acting Chief Sgt. Garrett Kimmell. Allegheny County District Attorney’s Detective Lyle Graber alleged in the complaint that several borough police officers told Kimmell that Butler had been acting strange.

In one instance, Butler was seen with a person who police said has possessed heroin in the past. Butler said the person was, “making controlled narcotics buys” at his request. Kimmell told Lyle that it would be “highly unlikely” that Butler would be engaged in such activity without his knowledge, the complaint said.

On Dec. 7 while he was being questioned by Kimmell about his unusual behavior, Butler admitted to having a drug problem.

When asked by Kimmell if there were “any issues related [to] the Department or missing evidence,” Butler told him “it was a mess” and “it was all gone,” the complaint said.

During a Dec. 12 search of Butler’s office authorities “Recovered from the trash can in Chief Butler’s office were approximately 62 bundles and 2,700 loose stamp bags,” the complaint said.

Authorities also located 535 loose stamp bags from within and around Butler’s desk, 900 empty bags of heroin from an envelope that was supposed to contain 1,000 and an empty envelope that was supposed to contain 2,531 bags of heroin.

It is not known what impact Butler’s alleged theft of drug evidence will have on pending cases.

Butler also allegedly failed to deposit money collected from parking meters during 2017.  Butler would normally deposit between $4,000 and $6,000 each year, but made no deposits in 2017, the complaint alleged.

Butler, who had worked for the department since 1999 and has been chief since 2014 resigned Tuesday.

He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 6.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com

 

 

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