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Former Michigan police chief charged with multiple felonies, accused of selling drugs

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for May 31, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for May 31, 2023 03:03

HARTFORD, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A former Michigan police chief is facing nine charges, eight of which are felonies, for allegedly selling drugs, the Michigan Attorney General's office announced Wednesday.

Tressa Beltran, 57, is charged with delivery or possession with intent to deliver less than 50 grams of a controlled substance, extortion, embezzlement by a public official over $50 in value, misconduct in office, larceny in a building, possession of less than 25 grams of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a Schedule 5 controlled substance.

Beltran served as the Harford police chief before retiring earlier this year.

"The majority of Michigan law enforcement officers perform their duties with integrity and with the knowledge that they are not above the law," said Attorney General Dana Nessel in a state. "Members of law enforcement are expected to follow the law and not use their positions for illegal purposes. The Public Integrity Unit of my office is committed to holding accountable officers who misuse the public's trust and we will continue to investigate and prosecute such cases."   

State officials say Beltran allegedly sold and stole and controlled substances, used her influence to extort others, illegally possessed different types of drugs, and committed embezzlement.

The Van Buren County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation after being notified of allegations against Beltran. That investigation has since closed and further investigation from the AG office's Public Integrity Unit found that the former police chief used her position to commit the alleged crimes.

"I would personally like to thank everyone involved with this investigation. When information comes to the sheriff's office about law enforcement officers doing acts that are unlawful or inappropriate, we will investigate these allegations to the fullest extent possible," said Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott. "The entire investigative team obtained information and were able to build a quality case based upon the experience and knowledge they have gained over the years."   

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