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Officer Christopher Michael Barnett is accused of stealing opioids from a bedridden citizen. (Hagerstown Police Dept.)
Officer Christopher Michael Barnett is accused of stealing opioids from a bedridden citizen. (Hagerstown Police Dept.)

Maryland police officer accused of stealing opioids from a bedridden citizen

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By Brad Bell, WJLA

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJLA) – A Hagerstown police officer has been arrested on drug charges after police received a video of him admitting he stole opioids from a disabled resident while he was on duty.

Christopher Michael Barnett, a 15-year veteran of the Hagerstown Police Department, was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police Thursday evening at his home, according to Chief Victor Brito who held a press conference at noon Friday.

Barnett is facing a list of charges related to the theft of opiate painkillers from a disabled resident of an apartment building in Hagerstown.

Police say Barnett used a phony pretense to enter the apartment. While inside he handled the bedridden resident’s pill bottles. When a caregiver noticed tablets were missing, he called police but Barnett was put on the phone.

Barnett allegedly hung up and hurried over to the apartment. This time the resident recorded video of Barnett asking that they not report him and promising to give the drugs back.

When the chief was given the video they moved quickly to make an arrest.

Criminal charges were filed after investigators confirmed the video with witnesses. He has been charged with possession and distribution of prescription controlled dangerous substances.

"When we received this information, we acted as quickly as we do in any criminal matter to address the issue," Brito said. "This will be treated the same as every case we handle on a regular basis, and he will be rightly afforded due process of the law."

Barnett has been a member of the Hagerstown Police Department since July 2002 and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2012. He has been suspended without pay.

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