Police chief under investigation after being accused of selling pills from drug collection box

The investigation began after two dozen Hydrocodone pills went missing from the Hartford Police Department drug collection box


By Sarah Calams

PAW PAW, Mich. — An investigation is underway after a police chief was accused of stealing and selling painkillers from a police collection box.

The investigation began after two dozen Hydrocodone pills went missing from the Hartford Police Department drug collection box. The box, according to WWMT.com, is designed to take drugs off the streets. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office narcotics unit later received an anonymous tip of possible narcotics use and sales at the department involving Hartford Police Chief Tressa Beltran.

Beltran has been on paid administrative leave since June 30, according to the report. Investigators said Beltran is the only one with a key to access the collection box. About 2,000 pounds of unused medication are deposited in the box each year, the sheriff’s office said.

As part of the investigation, a detective and member of the narcotics team told Beltran they dropped off 10 bottles of controlled substances in the collection box on June 24. Days later, investigators requested the medication for destruction. Beltran asked them to return another day, where she was later observed getting into her car and returning with a trash bag. The bag, which was filled with prescriptions, was torn open. In one bottle, four Hydrocodone pills were missing and another bottle was empty.

“My client right now is anxiously awaiting results of investigation and maintains her innocence,” Don Soppanos, Beltran’s defense attorney, said.

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