July 8, 2016
BATESVILLE -- A Batesville Police Department sergeant who had been with the force since it formed in June 2015 is accused of stealing methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription drugs from the department's locked evidence vault, Police Chief Alan Cockrill said Thursday. Sgt. Phillip Pickett, 29, faces felony charges of breaking and entering, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with physical evidence. Cockrill said he obtained an arrest warrant for Pickett from
Independence County Circuit Judge John Dan Kemp on Thursday. According to an arrest affidavit filed Thursday in Circuit Court, Pickett came under police scrutiny after an officer told Cockrill he saw Pickett in the department's evidence room late in the evening of March 7.
The officer later checked surveillance video and saw Pickett, who was not authorized to be in the room, remove evidence packages on two occasions. Cockrill said he checked Pickett's activity log and found it appeared the officer was checking case numbers on the department's computer that had narcotics seizures.
The chief said he checked the evidence room and found that items inside a locked box that contained methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine used for K-9 drug dog training units had been tampered with.
Cockrill said he had the only key and had not opened the box since July 2015. Cockrill called Pickett into his office March 8 and questioned him, the arrest affidavit said. When the chief asked Pickett if he had anything he wanted to say, Pickett replied, "I don't have to tell you, you already know," according to the affidavit.
Police searched Pickett's patrol unit and found seven pieces of evidence with state Crime Laboratory submission sheets attached to them. Officers found a small plastic baggie that contained 11 grams of methamphetamine in Pickett's uniform pocket and a glass pipe used for smoking the drug in a T-shirt pocket locked in a gun box in the front seat of Pickett's patrol car. They also discovered 1.7 grams of marijuana, 6 grams of alprazolam -- a prescription drug used to treat anxiety -- and 0.4 grams of clonazepam -- a drug used to treat seizures and panic disorders.
The chief said it appeared Pickett entered the police department's computer system and deleted case file information pertaining to drug-related arrests. Cockrill said Pickett, who was fired from the police force, was hired when Batesville resumed its own police department June 1, 2015. The city had contracted with the Independence County sheriff's office for patrolling of the city of 10,248 since the early 1980s. State Desk on 07/08/2016 Print Headline: Police say confiscated drugs found with Batesville officer
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