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Pleasant Hill officer tied to drugs is fired

Pleasant Hill, IA

A Pleasant Hill police officer suspected of stealing drugs from his department's evidence room has been fired.

Sgt. Daniel Edwards, 42, was fired Friday, Pleasant Hill Police Chief Tim Sittig said.

Edwards' dismissal came on the same day state law enforcement officials announced he faces additional charges of third-degree burglary and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was previously charged with misdemeanor drug possession after he crashed his police vehicle near U.S. Highway 65 and East University Avenue on April 1.

State investigators confirmed Edwards was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the wreck.

He is also suspected of taking controlled substances from the evidence room at the Pleasant Hill Police Department between Jan. 1 and April 1. Third-degree burglary is a felony.

The criminal allegations and violations of department regulations were the reasons for Edwards' firing, Sittig said.

Sittig declined to comment further on the situation and referred questions about the criminal charges to the agencies handling the investigation - the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa State Patrol and the Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

Edwards pleaded not guilty to the drug charge when he appeared in Polk County District Court on Wednesday.

Investigators said Edwards had methamphetamine in his SUV when the vehicle struck a car and collided with a concrete barrier before going into a ditch. The charge of operating while intoxicated is tied to the crash, state officials said.

The vehicle struck by Edwards' sustained minor damage.

After the crash, Edwards was airlifted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines and treated for unspecified injuries.

He was on paid administrative leave until he was fired.

Edwards turned himself in to agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on Friday to face the additional charges and was later released.

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