- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former Edwardsville police officer has pleaded guilty to six felony counts more than two years after he was charged with a long string of burglaries.

Brian Barker, 43, pleaded guilty to four burglary charges and one charge each of official misconduct and aggravated possession of stolen firearms.

Barker was arrested in December 2014 and charged in multiple burglaries of businesses and homes over a period of 15 years, some of which he committed while on duty and in uniform.

Madison County prosecutors say video footage showed him cleaning out the cash register of a local hair salon. Evidence found in his home linked him to a number of other burglaries.

Barker’s attorney said an additional 16 charges will be dropped and that Barker will negotiate with the state’s attorney’s office for restitution to the victims.

At least a dozen police officers attended the plea hearing Monday to watch Barker, who resigned from the Edwardsville Police Department shortly after his indictment.

Police Chief Jay Keeven said he was satisfied with the outcome of the case.

“We are happy to see justice served,” Keeven said. “We were comfortable from the beginning that (Madison County Sheriff John Lakin) would do a fair investigation. … We are naturally heartbroken that it occurred, but happy with this outcome, and that it saves the taxpayers the cost of the numerous trials it would have required.”

Keeven said that no matter where a person works, all are subject to the same laws.

“When it’s a public official, it’s even more egregious because we are entrusted with enforcing the law,” he said.

Barker faces up to 40 years in prison.



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