Arkansas police officer charged with tampering with evidence, accused of stealing drugs

An Arkansas police officer was caught – on camera – stealing drugs from the evidence room, according to officials within the very same police department.

Lt. Freddy Williams is charged with tampering with evidence and drug possession.

Sources told FOX13 narcotics officers in Marion set up a hidden camera on a hunch. They allegedly caught Williams accessing the evidence room more than 20 times last year.

Lt. Williams is on unpaid administrative leave after he posted bond on the criminal charges.

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According to an arrest affidavit, an electronic PIN shows Williams accessed the narcotics evidence room approximately 22 times in 2018 – including once on Christmas morning, when nobody other than the dispatcher was at the police department.

Prosecutor Scott Ellington and Chief Gary Kelly held a news conference after Williams’ arrest.

“My understanding is there are two evidence lockers in the department – One is general (and) one is for narcotics only,” Ellington explained. “He had full access to the general evidence locker and was actually in charge of that and would not normally have access to the narcotics locker.”

Lt. Williams was caught on video surveillance after narcotics officers suspected someone was tampering with the evidence, according to officials.

After a full inventory, they found 33 case files had evidence missing.

Marijuana was missing from 23 case files.

Prescription pills were missing from 10.

“There’s no indication he was taking them out to sell them or to damage any cases,” Ellington said. “It was just, I guess, personal use. We can’t speculate on that at this time.”

According to the affidavit, Lt. Williams confessed to the police chief that he stole the drugs. He also told him he smoked the marijuana he stole.

Lt. Williams turned himself in at the Crittenden County Jail Tuesday morning. He was in and out of jail in just a couple of hours.

He entered and exited through a side door that the media couldn’t access - meaning he never had to face cameras.

Lt. Williams was Officer of the Year twice during his 18 years at the Marion Police Department.