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Former Officer Sentenced After Stealing Drugs

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Pleasant Hill, IA

Dan Edwards Will Avoid Prison Time

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A former Pleasant Hill police officer appeared in court Friday morning for sentencing on three charges.

Dan Edwards was charged with driving under the influence, possession of an illegal drug and third-degree burglary.

Police said the burglary charge stemmed from Edwards stealing methamphetamine from the Pleasant Hill Police Department's evidence room.

The charge was in addition to other charges stemming from a crash in April in which investigators believe Edwards was high on drugs when he lost control of his police SUV and crashed on the US Highway 65 bypass. A state trooper reported finding meth on Edwards, and he was charged with possession.

In a sentencing hearing Friday at the Polk County courthouse, Edwards told the judge, "I've tried to give my life to the community and I've certainly thrown that all away. I can't apologize enough."

Edwards received probation for the meth possession charge, one year probation for driving under the influence and three years probation on the burglary charge. Judge Arthur Gamble said the charges will be wiped off Edwards' record if he successfully completes probation.

Edwards' attorney said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. His wife and infant son were also killed in a crash years ago.

Friends and former colleagues said those factors probably led to his drug use.

"I feel that any decision the court made was a good decision," said Adam Choat of the Pleasant Hill Police Department. "People make mistakes. We just hope we can move on from all this."

He said people in the community have been supportive.

"We haven't had any negativity," Choat said.

Drake University Law Professor Bill Rigg said courts don't care whether someone is a law enforcement officer or not.

"The idea that you're going to get a favor because you're in law enforcement, don't bet on that," he said. "In fact, you're going to get a harder eye by the court if you're law enforcement than you would if you were an average citizen."

Edwards must also undergo a substance abuse therapy program.

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