Williams pleads not guilty to stealing drugs
Suspended Marion police lieutenant charged with taking illegal substances from evidence locker
A Marion police lieutenant accused of stealing drugs from the department’s evidence room pled not guilty on Tuesday.
Detective Freddy Williams was also given a pretrial date for his case, in which he is facing several charges, including evidence tampering and drug possession.
In late 2018, under suspicion that someone was tampering with evidence and several seized controlled substances were missing, narcotics officers set up hidden cameras at the Marion Police Department.
According to a police affidavit, Williams was seen going into the evidence room more than a dozen times. He admitted to stealing marijuana and smoking it. In all nearly three dozen evidence crates were found to be missing drugs, including marijuana and a number of narcotics.
Williams has been with the Marion Police Department since 2000, most recently serving as head of the city’s criminal investigation division. Prior to his arrest, Williams maintained the department’s Facebook page and headed up a majority of the MPD’s community outreach.
The case was a point of controversy earlier this year as information about the investigation stirred up calls for transparency from city leaders among Marion residents. Almost one month to the day after the Marion Police Department and Arkansas State Police announced that there was an ongoing investigation, Williams turned himself in at the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office. He was arraigned two days later on charges of tampering with physical evidence and possession of a controlled substance.
According to the affidavit warrant, between Oct. 1, 2018, and Dec. 25, 2018, Williams is alleged to have entered the evidence room more than a dozen times and is seen on surveillance footage taking evidence from the rooom.
An internal investigation was launched after the allegations against Williams were brought to Chief Gary Kelley. Kelley then referred the case to Arkansas State Police.
Williams is suspended without pay pending the outcome of the trial. His next appearance is for pretrial date scheduled for Aug. 5.