Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Michael Roberts of Marion was convicted of stealing drugs from the evidence locker.
Michael Dean Roberts | Bristol Herald Courier
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
ABINGDON - It was with a slightly bowed head and cracked voice that former Marion Police Chief Michael Dean Roberts apologized Wednesday for stealing drugs from his department's evidence locker.
"This is nobody's fault but mine," he said in U.S. District Court in Abingdon of feeding his addiction. "I thought I was hurting only myself."
Moments later, Judge James Jones sentenced him to six years in federal prison and fined him $1,500 for a drug-distribution crime that ran from 2005 until June.
"Mr. Roberts breached the trust that all of us have a right to expect from our leaders," Jones said.
The judge stuck to the low end of federal sentencing guidelines that begin at five years and 10 months and peak at seven years and three months in prison. The fine also could have been as much as $1 million.
"Having an addiction is not a crime," Jones said. "But spreading that misery around is."
Roberts, 54, was allowed to return home to finish an ongoing drug treatment program and has 60 days to report to a federal prison.
Roberts is the latest Southwest Virginia police officer to serve prison time for drug crimes and other offenses committed in recent years.
Chilhowie Police Chief Dwayne Sheffield served slightly more than two years in state prison for sex crimes against a 17-year-old girl in October 2006. Pennington Gap Police Chief Bryan Young is serving nine years in federal prison for selling prescription drugs and arranging the burglary of a pharmacy in September 2012.
Damascus Police Chief Tony Richardson garnered a three-year stint in federal prison after agents caught him selling methamphetamine out of his patrol car in 2007.
Weather JournalStorm track isn't very snowy for us