A former Vermont police officer appeared in federal court Friday in Burlington to face a charge of heroin distribution.
John Breault, 31, recently resigned from the Royalton Police Department, his defense attorney said.
According to the office of the U.S. Attorney for Vermont, the DEA and FBI investigated Breault's alleged actions from this summer, when he was still on the force.
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The agencies say before Breault abruptly quit, he broke into the police department's vault and stole heroin that had been seized in a drug raid.
Breault then allegedly gave that evidence to a woman he was dating, who begged him for drugs.
"John doesn't use drugs," defense attorney Bob Katims said outside the federal court building in Burlington. "He wasn't peddling drugs on the streets. The allegation is that he had a serious lapse in judgment and he helped out a friend who was a drug addict. John's resigned from the police department and he understands there will be other consequences. And we're here today to begin that process."
Breault was not required to enter a plea Friday. The U.S. Attorney's office noted Breault is still presumed innocent.
Judge John Conroy released Breault on conditions. He's due back in court next month.