AG: Fmr. Montco cop stole guns, drugs, cash

John Becker

May 17, 2012 3:49:26 PM PDT
A former police officer from Montgomery County has been charged for stealing guns, drugs and cash, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office announced on Thursday.

John Becker, 42, of Horsham, is charged for a number of alleged incidents dating back to 2003. He is a former detective sergeant with the Hatboro Police Department.

According to a statement from Attorney General Linda Kelly, Becker convinced or coerced several people to make drug purchases on his behalf, including Oxycontin, Percocet and cocaine between December 2009 and January 2011.

Kelly said the purchases were allegedly under the guise of assisting undercover drug investigations. However, Kelly said, Becker is accused of keeping the drugs for his own personal use.

Becker is also accused of stealing from the evidence room of the Hatboro Police Department, where he served as the evidence custodian.? Between 2003 and 2011, Becker allegedly stole ten firearms, including a rare German 9mm Luger pistol, along with numerous other handguns and a 12 gauge shotgun.

Kelly said that Becker is also accused of taking more than $18,000 in cash from the evidence room, along with an Omega watch valued at $2,700 and narcotics worth more than $2,000.

A search warrant was executed at Becker's home in June, 2011, in which several items from the Hatboro Police Department were recovered, Kelly said. Becker allegedly designated those items as "destroyed" while serving as evidence custodian for the police department.

Kelly said the investigation also resulted in the recovery of five firearms that were allegedly sold by Becker to a store in Horsham and later resold to unsuspecting buyers in Pennsylvania and Texas. Four more weapons were later located in the trunk of Becker's car, Kelly said.

Becker is charged with ten counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, all second-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to ten years in prison and $25,000 fines.

Additionally, Becker is charged with three counts of theft by unlawful taking, all third-degree felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.

Becker is also charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance, eight counts of unlawful restraint and 12 counts of criminal coercion, all first-degree misdemeanors each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines, along with four counts of official oppression, a second-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to two years in prison and $5,000 fines.

Becker surrendered on Thursday to agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and was arraigned.