- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A former Vermont police detective pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges that he stole cash, guns and drugs from the Colchester Police Department’s evidence locker after he became addicted to heroin.

Tyler Kinney is facing up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for October.

In court Monday, a prosecutor outlined how another suspect in the case had told investigators that Kinney had taken drugs out of a prescription drug drop-box in the department’s lobby to sell the pills to fund his heroin habit.

Judge William Sessions asked Kinney if that was the correct version of events.

Kinney replied, “Yes, your honor.”

Sessions said Kinney’s decision to take responsibility for his actions would be taken into consideration when he is sentenced.

“When people accept full responsibility for their conduct and do something about it, they don’t pose as much of a risk,” the judge said.

Kinney, 39, a 12-year police veteran, attended a drug rehabilitation program after his arrest.

The Burlington Free Press (https://bfpne.ws/1JUBCoT ) quoted court documents as saying Kinney agreed to plead guilty “because he is, in fact, guilty.”

Kinney entered his plea in U.S. District Court to charges of heroin distribution, firearms trafficking and theft.

Court documents say Kinney provided drugs and guns to a Burlington man. Up to 11 firearms are missing or unaccounted for, according to the documents.

Colchester police say the missing evidence could affect dozens of other drug cases.

Kinney was arrested in November after Burlington police raided an apartment and seized drugs and at least one gun that led to Kinney.

Kinney, who has been free on conditions, remains free pending sentencing.

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