Fired state police corporal sentenced to house arrest and probation

·2 min read

Sep. 21—A former state police corporal who pleaded guilty to stealing evidence from the Honesdale barracks was sentenced this week to house arrest and probation.

Brian Rickard, 49, of Honesdale, was sentenced Monday by Monroe County Judge Stephen M. Higgins to spend six months to two years on house arrest followed by three years of probation, according to the state attorney general's office. The state police's Bureau of Integrity and Professional Standards and the attorney general's office accused Rickard of stealing drugs from evidence, ingesting them while working and then covering up the theft using office computers.

"Corporal Rickard betrayed his fellow officers and the community he was meant to serve and protect," Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. "By stealing evidence and using drugs while on duty, Corporal Rickard dishonored his profession and committed a serious crime. Today's sentence holds Rickard accountable for betraying the trust of the people of Pennsylvania."

The attorney general's office prosecuted Rickard following a referral from the Wayne County district attorney's office. Higgins presided over the case.

Rickard pleaded guilty in June to acquisition of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, obstructing administration of law, tampering with physical evidence, forgery and theft by unlawful taking.

His colleagues caught on to his use when he appeared under the influence at work in the Honesdale barracks Nov. 5. He claimed it was his prescription medication. A fellow corporal took Rickard home.

State police found an empty evidence envelope in his office. The envelope was supposed to hold 50 bags of heroin. Inside, they found just 20 bags. They found five empty bags and a straw elsewhere in his office.

Rickard enlisted in November 2003 and graduated in the 115th cadet class. At the time he faced charges, he worked as a supervisor of the criminal investigation unit with a yearly salary of $109,807. He was placed on suspension without pay in November, when charges were filed.

Rickard was fired Monday after he was sentenced, said a state police spokesman in Harrisburg.

Contact the writer: jkohut@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9100, x5187; @jkohutTT on Twitter.