Arkansas police officer faces evidence tampering, drug charges after taking narcotics, authorities say

An east Arkansas police officer accused of evidence tampering surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning, police said.

Lt. Freddy Williams of the Marion Police Department surrendered to the Arkansas State Police at about 9:30 a.m., according to Bill Sadler, state police spokesman.

According to an arrest affidavit, Williams, who was in charge of the department’s criminal investigation division, was suspected of stealing narcotics from a police evidence room. State police received a warrant for Williams’ arrest after two officers reportedly recorded videos of Williams entering the room and slipping evidence into his pants, state police said.

Williams did not have any reason to enter the evidence room, Marion Police Chief Gary Kelley stated in the affidavit.

An log indicated that Williams accessed the narcotics evidence room roughly 22 times in 2018, according to investigators. One video reportedly shows an off-duty Williams searching through evidence on Christmas morning, when the only other person inside the department was a dispatcher.

A total of 33 cases were missing evidence, the affidavit states. Of those cases, 23 were missing marijuana, and the other 10 were missing prescription pills.

According to authorities, Williams confessed to the Marion police chief, assistant chief and two detectives.

State police said Williams was formally charged at the Crittenden County jail, though he was not listed on an online jail roster there Tuesday afternoon. He faces one count of tampering with physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance and violation of rules of conduct by a county officer or employee.

The investigation is ongoing, Sadler said.

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