Houston & Peach

Ex-Warner Robins cop who battled cancer accused of stealing pain pills from evidence room

‘Our own medicine cabinets’ can be a gateway to addiction

State Attorney General Chris Carr urged folks to clean out their medicine cabinets amid a national opioid crisis that killed more than 1,000 people last year in Georgia.
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State Attorney General Chris Carr urged folks to clean out their medicine cabinets amid a national opioid crisis that killed more than 1,000 people last year in Georgia.

A former Warner Robins police officer has been indicted for allegedly using his position to steal narcotic pain pills from the department’s evidence room.

Pratt D. Martin, 55, of Fort Valley, was indicted Tuesday by a Houston County grand jury on charges of theft by taking fiduciary, possession of oxycodone and violation of oath by a public officer, according to the indictment.

Martin allegedly took oxycodone pills from the evidence room sometime between Feb. 16, 2016, and Jan. 30, 2017, the indictment said. The indictments list an amount of more than 4 grams but less than 28 grams in the possession charge.

Martin battled cancer in 2015.

The charges stem from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe that was initiated after an outside audit in June 2017 of the Warner Robins Police Property Division, according to a Warner Robins police news release issued Wednesday.

Discrepancies were found in cases that involved a painkiller, the release said.

“At that time, to maintain the integrity of the investigation, our agency immediately removed ourselves and called in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation,” the release said.

Martin began medical leave in February 2017 and left the department in August 2017, according to the release.

Warner Robins Acting Police Chief John Wagner said discrepancies related to pain pills logged into evidence were first detected internally, which led to another law enforcement agency in Houston County being asked to conduct the audit. He declined to name the agency.

The audit found additional discrepancies, which led to the GBI being asked to investigate, Wagner said. The discrepancies were related only to the pain pills and no other evidence, he said.

“All of law enforcement is held to a higher standard of conduct, and we will continue to judge ourselves on that,” Wagner said. “It’s sad when it’s one of your own, but again, we still are expected to follow policies, procedures and laws … We have to uphold our oath, and no matter the circumstances, we’re expected to do the right thing all time.”

In 2015, fundraising efforts were held by Warner Robins police and others in the community on the behalf of Martin as he battled cancer.

Martin could not be reached for comment. He continues to battle health problems, Wagner said.

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