Former Cottage Grove Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Stealing Methamphetamine From Evidence Locker
EUGENE, Ore.—Phillip Allan Beach, 49, of Cottage Grove, Oregon, pleaded guilty today to one count of acquiring or obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception of subterfuge.
According to court documents, in May 2015, an evidence coordinator at the Cottage Grove Police Department (CGPD) reported to their supervisor that Beach accessed the department’s evidence locker more frequently than other officers and seemed to do so for no apparent purpose. The coordinator said that Beach would repeatedly access the same evidence bag. A CGPD commander later examined the bag and observed that it was open and two plastic bags inside containing several ounces of methamphetamine crystals had been sliced open.
In June 2015, CGPD began an investigation of Beach’s conduct and placed two hidden cameras inside the evidence locker. On June 11, 2015, Beach was recorded on video entering the locker without signing the evidence log and accessing the evidence bag previously examined by the commander. The video shows Beach taking a small plastic baggie from his pants pocket and using it to take a small portion of meth from the evidence bag. Investigators later weighed the evidence bag and found a 7.3 gram reduction in weight.
Beach faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release. He will be sentenced on November 26, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Oregon State Police and CGPD. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Oregon.