Virginia police chief charged with drug distribution
A man whose job is to serve and protect is now facing a federal drug charge -- Marion, Virginia's police chief, Michael Dean Roberts, has been charged with distribution of a controlled substance.
The reaction of many people in Marion after learning Roberts was arrested Wednesday morning is shock. "I'm very disappointed. We pay taxes here and they're supposed to protect and serve the county, not perform in drug activity," said Marion resident Sonia Snavely.
Court records show Roberts was arrested after a break in the case on June 8. A person authorities call a "cooperating defendant" took an audio and video recording device when Roberts came to the anonymous person's home home.
In court Wednesday afternoon, that video was played. It showed Roberts giving the informant two pills, then crush a pill and snort it himself. That was one of several recorded transactions.
A search warrant was issue for Roberts' home, car, and even his office in the Marion Police Department. The informant told police Roberts would get some of the pills from the Marion Police Department and would even return to work after using illegal drugs.
"They're trying to catch people that do drugs and they're doing it? It's not right. It's not right at all," said Snavely.
Now some residents tell News 5 it'll be hard for them to trust the police. "It's a police officer getting busted for drugs? We don't need that in this community. We've got enough going on," said Marion resident Adam Pennington.
Roberts was in federal court Wednesday afternoon in Abingdon. He was released to his parents on at $10,000 bond. Roberts must stay at his parent’s house and will be under house arrest until his court date.
He must also submit to treatment and evaluation for substance abuse within the next 30 days.