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story.lead_photo.caption Clayton Jon Roberts

BENTONVILLE -- A former Bella Vista police detective was sentenced to 60 days in the Benton County Jail after pleading guilty this morning to stealing medications from the evidence room and the department's drug take-back bin.

Clayton Jon Roberts, 37, pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence.

Roberts was arrested Jan. 9 after Bella Vista Police Chief James Graves requested the Benton County Sheriff's Office conduct an investigation concerning missing evidence. Bella Vista police had received two reports from the Arkansas Crime Laboratory that medications submitted as evidence on cases didn't match the lab submission form, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Roberts accessed reports in cases where the pills had been switched, according to the affidavit. One case involved a felony arrest where four suspected pills of oxycodone were seized, and each pill had the number 30 stamped on it. However, the pills sent to the Crime Laboratory were different and stamped M18. The lab determined the pills to be metoprolol, according to court documents.

Roberts admitted he was responsible for switching the pills out of the evidence packages, according to court documents. He said he started stealing the pills because he had an addiction, according to the affidavit.

Roberts also admitted to stealing pills in unattended death cases and from the department's drug take-back bin, according to court documents.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren accepted the plea agreement and Roberts' guilty plea.

The judge ordered that Roberts be placed on six years state supervised probation with Act 346, which means Roberts' conviction may be expunged if he successfully completes his probation.

NW News on 10/24/2018

Print Headline: Former police detective gets jail time

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