A staff sergeant in the Canada's RCMP has been charged with theft and is alleged to have taken, and used, cocaine from a police exhibit in Merritt, B.C..
While Staff Sgt. Stuart Seib has not been taken into custody, the 18-year veteran of the force has been placed on suspension. At a news conference Wed., Jan. 12 in Chilliwack, a home base for the RCMP in B.C., Chief Supt. Mike Sekela said that Sgt. Seib is alleged to have, on more than one occasion, stolen drugs from a police drug exhibit that he, Seib, had charge over.
"Seib has been suspended and his privileges and access to RCMP facilities have been revoked," said Sekela. "The process is underway to proceed with a recommendation that the member be suspended without pay."
Officer alleged to have used evidence
The drug exhibits were part of evidence and the investigation into Seib was ongoing only for a few days. Sekela said they became aware the officer may have taken drugs from evidence exhibits under his control and so an audit by senior officers was done and subsequently Seib was charged.
The RCMP did not reveal how they initially came to suspect their officer or how they have come to believe he used the drugs. There may be more charges brought against Seib, Sekela said. No date for a trial has been set. "While the alleged actions of this member are extremely troubling, they are clearly not representative of the high moral and ethical standards of the vast majority of the members of the RCMP," Sekela said.
There have been other recent incidences of RCMP officers in trouble with the law. Among them last November RCMP Cpl. Tony Bernard was charged with several offences related to drinking and driving. Last summer, Kelowna Staff Sergeant Owen Wlodarczak was given a three year conditional discharge related to domestic charges and careless use of a firearm.