Cop dies after overdosing on drugs he stole from evidence lockers, officials say
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WJAC) - The death of a Pennsylvania police officer by a drug overdose is under investigation.
West Hills Police Sergeant Michael Beblar, 40, died on June 13 from cardiac arrest as a result of an overdose. Officials said a toxicology report found fentanyl, hydrocodone and xylazine in his body.
Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees said his death was a result of him stealing and ingesting illegal drugs from a department evidence locker.
According to District Attorney Greg Neugebaur, investigators found drugs that were evidence from current and past cases in Beblar’s personal items.
“I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t a one-off occurrence. How long it was going on? Frankly, we’ll never know,” Neugebaur said.
Pennsylvania State Police officials said they’re investigating the West Hills Police Department concerning its evidence-holding protocol.
Authorities in the state said the incident comes as a shock to those who knew Beblar.
“The Beblar family has been extremely gracious throughout this process. They have expressed shock and surprise at his apparent drug usage. They are clearly a very strong family,” Neugebaur said.
The county DA said nine active cases are currently missing evidence or were tampered with.
Neugebaur added that it does not appear Beblar received drugs from sources outside of the police department.
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