Crime

Former State College police officer accused of evidence thefts arraigned

Former State College police officer Thomas Dann, seen here in 2005, was charged Monday with tampering with and stealing drug evidence.
Former State College police officer Thomas Dann, seen here in 2005, was charged Monday with tampering with and stealing drug evidence. CDT file photo

The former State College police officer accused of taking cocaine and prescription drugs from the department’s evidence room was arraigned in Philipsburg on Tuesday.

Thomas Dann, 59, of Bellefonte, was released on $50,000 unsecured bail after arraignment before District Judge Allen Sinclair. Court documents indicate that Dann waived a preliminary hearing at the proceedings.

State police filed charges against Dann on Monday. He faces 23 counts each of two drug charges, 14 counts of evidence tampering and a theft charge. Dann’s employment with the borough ended Friday after almost 27 years on the force.

Stephanie Cooper Robinson, Dann’s attorney, said Dann’s “long and well-respected” career in law enforcement is a reminder that drug addiction can affect people from all walks of life. The alleged evidence tampering and thefts grew out of an addiction Dann developed when he was prescribed painkillers while recovering from a series of surgeries, Cooper Robinson said.

“He accepts responsibility for that and he is doing his best to make amends and do what he has to do,” she said. “This is an example of how nondiscriminatory addiction can be and how it can strike anyone.”

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