Former Police Chief in Michigan Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Drugs from Department

A former Michigan police chief has been sentenced to over three years in prison after confessing to stealing drugs from her department.

Judge Kathleen Brickley expressed her disappointment in Tressa Beltran’s actions, which have had a negative impact on the reputation of law enforcement.

“The consequences of your actions will have a lasting impact,” the judge remarked.

Beltran stepped down as police chief in Hartford, a town in southwestern Michigan, in 2023, following a search of department offices by investigators. She confessed to taking prescription drugs, specifically hydrocodone, from a disposal box.

Beltran admitted his guilt in April for the charges of drug possession and using a computer to commit a crime. She was directed to permanently relinquish her Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards license, effectively barring her from pursuing a career as a police officer in Michigan.

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“Today’s sentence delivered a clear message that no one is above the law,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “I commend the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office for their diligent investigative efforts that led to the removal of Ms. Beltran from her position as police chief, ensuring she could no longer jeopardize public health. My office will continue to pursue public integrity and hold accountable those who abuse their positions of power.” 

CBS News reported that she will have the opportunity for parole after serving approximately 3 1/2 years behind bars.

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