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Dalton officer accused of taking pot from evidence locker

The Scranton Times-Tribune,

Dalton, PA


A part-time borough police officer faces charges relating to accusations that he stole marijuana from the Dalton Police Department’s temporary evidence locker.

Joseph F. McCullon, 34, of 213 Charles St., Old Forge, apologized and told Chief Christopher Tolson he was sorry for letting him down when the chief confronted him on Dec. 2 about the suspected theft, the arrest affidavit states. He said the marijuana helped him chill out.

“Chief, you are aware of my past substance abuse problem. I’ve been working too much and it just caught up with me,” the affidavit quoted Officer McCullon as saying.

The officer, who has worked for the department since 2013, was suspended without pay the same day.

Officer McCullon was arraigned Monday in Central Court on two counts each of tampering with evidence, obstructing the administration of law, theft and possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was released by Magisterial District Judge Alyce Farrell on $5,000 unsecured bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday at 10 a.m.

The officer is accused of removing marijuana in two pending criminal cases from the locker in November, after accessing the area by breaking a lock and climbing through a window.

The affidavit prepared by Lackawanna County Detective Thomas Davis states surveillance video inside the department on Nov. 29 showed Officer McCullon entering the closet housing the temporary evidence locker and placing something in his left back pants pocket.

Video from Nov. 22 showed Officer McCullon placing an article of clothing over the camera monitoring the closet before removing it nine minutes later, the affidavit states.

At his meeting with Chief Tolson on Dec. 2, Officer McCullon denied using any drugs other than the marijuana he took from the locker, the affidavit states. He denied taking anything other than marijuana from the locker when he was interviewed by Detective Davis on Dec. 17.

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