Former PA police chief charged in theft of federal evidence

July 20, 2022 GMT

ELIZABETH, Pa. (AP) — A former police chief in western Pennsylvania who was sentenced to probation in state court in 2019 after admitting to stealing thousands of small bags of heroin and fentanyl from his department’s evidence room has been indicted on federal charges.

Timothy Butler Jr., 45, was indicted by a grand jury on one charge of theft of government property, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday. According to the indictment, Butler, who was the police chief for the Elizabeth Borough Police Department and was deputized as a federal officer as part of a task force, is accused of taking drugs recovered through two federal investigations.

Butler had pleaded guilty to drug possession, theft and obstruction of the administration of law charges, and was sentenced to 325 hours of community services and about four years of probation.

He resigned in 2018 after the evidence theft was discovered by another officer. He had worked at the department for almost 20 years and had been chief for about four years.

Attorney information for Butler was not listed on federal court documents. Calls to a phone number listed in Butler’s name rang unanswered Wednesday.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.