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Colchester Cop Arrested On Federal Gun, Drug Charges

A Colchester police officer was arrested on federal charges Monday night on suspicion of stealing drugs and guns from the department's evidence locker.

Cpl. Tyler Kinney, age 38, is a 12-year veteran of the force who was in charge of evidence storage "and associated record keeping," according to Colchester Police Chief Jennifer Morrison.

Burlington police executed a search warrant Monday, according to Burlington Chief Michael Schirling, where they found a gun that was supposed to be in the Colchester police evidence locker. The suspect in that case allegedly told them he received the gun, and possibly drugs, from Kinney. Monday afternoon, Burlington police called the FBI and ATF in consultation with federal prosecutors.

"The investigation has shown that a still undetermined amount of drugs were diverted from our evidence locker by Mr. Kinney," Morrison said.

Morrison made no effort to minimize the news and said unequivocally that "today is the darkest day in the history of the Colchester Police Department."

In addition to the undetermined amount of drugs, Morrison said there will also likely be federal gun charges against Kinney.

"We anticipate that federal authorities will file a formal complaint tomorrow [Wednesday] morning charging Kinney with crimes related to drug distribution and gun trafficking," Morrison said.

Until the complaint is filed, Morrison has declined to answer any questions about the case. She did not specify Tuesday how many guns Kinney is suspected of stealing from the evidence locker.

"I have ordered a comprehensive external audit of the department's evidence room and our evidence handling procedures," she said, "and all of our policies and procedures relative to this matter will be scrutinized and refined as needed."

Disclosure: The officer who was arrested is the brother of a vice president at VPR.