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Ex-State College police officer sentenced in evidence room drug thefts

A former State College police officer arrested earlier this year on charges related to stealing drugs from the department’s evidence room will see jail time after entering guilty pleas to the charges Tuesday.

Thomas Dann, 56, of Bellefonte, was arrested in June, accused of taking cocaine and prescription medication while serving as the department’s evidence room custodian and charged with dozens of counts of drug and evidence tampering offenses, plus a theft charge.

Dann pleaded guilty to four felony counts of acquisition of a controlled substance by fraud for taking 1,265 grams of cocaine, 88 tablets of OxyContin, 123 tablets of oxycodone and seven tablets of hydrocodone and the theft charge before Judge Jonathan D. Grine on Tuesday, Office of Attorney General spokeswoman Sadie Martin said in an email.

Dann was sentenced to three to 23 months in Centre County Correctional Facility followed by five years of probation and will begin serving the sentence on Oct. 2, Martin said. He had been free on $50,000 unsecured bail.

The remaining charges were withdrawn, Martin said.

Stephanie Cooper Robinson, Dann’s attorney, said after his arraignment that Dann’s actions grew out of an addiction Dann developed when he was prescribed painkillers while recovering from a series of surgeries.

Dann started with State College police in 1988 and rose to the rank of sergeant. His employment with the borough ended in June, shortly before charges were filed against him.

The case was referred to the state Attorney General’s Office because Dann worked with the Centre County District Attorney’s Office during his tenure as a police officer in the county, Martin said.

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