Your Hometown News Leader has obtained video showing a former police chief in one southwest Virginia town snorting prescription pain pills.
The Town of Marion fired Michael Roberts and was charged by federal authorities for taking the drugs from evidence and selling them to friends. Roberts pleaded guilty to the charge yesterday in Federal court in Abingdon, Virginia.
Agents used two confidential informants to build their case. One helped plant a hidden camera in the kitchen of a home on June 8th of this year.
In the video, Roberts goes to the cabinet and takes out a green plate and a spoon and sits down at the kitchen table. He gives two pills to the informant and begins to crush up one for himself.
Roberts became chief in 2000. Informants reveal in court documents that he began abusing pills and meth as early as 2006. For years he would smoke up to two grams of meth and snort up to twenty powerful hydrocodone tablets each day while acting as chief.
The documents also say Roberts would take all pills that were evidence marked for destruction and sell them around Smyth and Russell counties. He'd use his law enforcement issued Drug Identification Bible to see if what he stole would get him high.
A few minutes later into the recording, the informant rips of a piece of paper for Roberts because he has no straw or dollar bill to roll up. He takes a credit card out of his wallet to divide his lines, then licks his fingers to get any residue. Then while agents with the bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms watched, Fireball snorts a line. Then has he sits back and feels the drug begin to take effect, he apparently notices the recording device in the corner.
"What kind of iPad thing you got there?" he says.
"I don't know," the informant calmly lies. "They got that for graduation."
At the end of the recording, Roberts finishes his other line, rubs his hands over the plate to get every last speck, licks his hands and leaves.
Roberts will be sentenced in October on one count of distribution of Schedule III narcotics. That carries a possible twenty year prison sentence and a million dollar fine.