BREAKING NEWS Manhunt underway after Springfield murder Full Story
SEVERE WX : Winter Storm Warning View Alerts

Cottage Grove officer accused of stealing meth pleads not guilty

Phillip Allan Beach, 48, of Cottage Grove made an initial appearance today in federal court.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 5:10 AM

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A former Cottage Grove police officer accused of stealing methamphetamine from the department’s evidence locker has pleaded not guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Phillip Allan Beach, 48, of Cottage Grove made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court. Following his plea, Beach was released pending trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the Cottage Grove Police Department’s investigation revealed that between March 2010 and June 2015, Beach accessed numerous pieces of drug evidence from multiple cases.

Beach was suspended June 11, 2015, and later that month the department asked the Oregon State Police to investigate the case to determine if there were criminal charges. The investigation was transferred to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI for investigation and prosecution.

A criminal complaint says that in May 2015, an evidence coordinator with the Cottage Grove Police Department reported to their supervisor that Beach accessed the department’s evidence locker more frequently than other officers for no apparent reason.

A commander with the department examined the bag Beach was said to have accessed repeatedly and found that two plastic bags containing several ounces of meth crystals had been sliced open.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in June of 2015, the Cottage Grove Police Department began an investigation into Beach’s conduct, placing hidden cameras inside the evidence locker. On June 11, 2015, they said Beach was recorded entering the locker without signing in, accessing the evidence bag, and taking a small portion of the meth.

Investigators weighed the evidence bag afterward and found a 7.3 gram reduction in weight, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The department’s investigation also determined that at times Beach would indicate he was taking drugs to send to the crime lab for testing, but no drugs were sent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. On at least one occasion, Beach is alleged to have replaced meth with salt to conceal his actions.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 153645

Reported Deaths: 2162
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31669515
Washington20962209
Marion18246282
Clackamas13260170
Lane10096122
Jackson8198108
Umatilla760081
Deschutes589358
Yamhill373962
Linn354455
Malheur333658
Polk300642
Klamath276554
Douglas237551
Josephine228849
Benton227816
Jefferson193427
Coos138518
Union126919
Columbia123221
Wasco121825
Lincoln112320
Hood River106029
Morrow103613
Crook77118
Clatsop7706
Baker6397
Curry4106
Tillamook4062
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman520
Wheeler221
Unassigned00
Eugene
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 29°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 33°
Roseburg
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 37°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events