The Halton Regional Police Service announced that a 16-year member of the force was arrested May 28. He faces charges of Breach of Trust, Theft, and Obstruct Justice charges following a seven-month internal and external investigation.
In the fall of 2016, a drug exhibit anomaly was discovered by members of the HRPS Drug and Morality Unit. As a result, a comprehensive internal audit of all drug exhibits seized by the Halton Regional Police Service commenced. The audit revealed that approximately 30 exhibits had been tampered with. In all instances, the exhibits involved prescription or illicit opioids, the most common example of which is OxyContin.
The exact number of exhibits affected will be a matter for disclosure during the court process.
As a result of this information, Chief of Police Stephen Tanner contacted the Toronto Police Service in November, 2016 and requested they undertake an independent, external criminal investigation relating to the exhibits. This common practice in matters pertaining to internal criminal investigations ensures an impartial and transparent investigation.
The Toronto Police Service agreed to assist in this matter and began their criminal investigation in December, 2016. Their investigation has concluded and has resulted in today’s arrest of Staff Sergeant Brad Murray. Staff Sergeant Murray was a member and supervisor of the Service’s Drug and Morality Unit from January, 2013 to May, 2016, during which time the criminal offences are alleged to have occurred.
Staff Sergeant Murray has been formally charged with the following:
- Breach of Trust x2
- Theft Under x2
- Obstruct Justice
“Staff Sergeant Murray has been suspended from duty with pay, as per the Police Services Act of Ontario (PSA),” said Chief of Police Stephen Tanner. “As such, we will endeavour to conclude this matter at the earliest opportunity.”
In addition to the criminal charges, Staff Sergeant Murray will face disciplinary procedures in accordance with the PSA. The most serious penalty under the PSA is dismissal.
With the criminal investigation by the Toronto Police Service complete, the Halton Regional Police Service (Professional Standards Bureau) will now conduct its internal disciplinary investigation, at which point the Police Services Act process will commence.
As a result of the investigation, and confirmation that exhibits had been tampered with, a number of drug related trials have been stayed by the Prosecution. The full ramifications of this situation as it relates to court prosecutions and potential withdrawal of charges will not be known for some time.
Tanner later released a statement on the impact of Murray’s arrest on public trust. “We recognize the impact such news brings to you, the people we serve, and to the reputation of our Service. It violates public trust in the work we do and is an affront to the Canadian justice system as a whole.”A First appearance court date has been set for June 27th 2017, at the Milton Provincial Courthouse.