Paul Hardwicke, a “resource officer hero” at Blackfoot High School in Idaho, was caught with his hand in the drug jar in May of 2015. According to the Idaho State Journal, Hardwicke was immediately given a paid vacation after it was determined that he had stolen thousands of prescription pain killers. The drugs were stolen out of the drop boxes that were being used as part of a drug return program at the school.
Originally he was facing two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, oxycodone and morphine and two counts of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, tramadol and a “legend” drug (a “legend” drug is what prescription drugs are called in Idaho). The felonies carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine each. The misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of one year and a fine of $1,000 each. All told, he was potentially facing up to 16 years in prison.
Hardwicke was eventually sentenced to two days in jail.
Via KTVB.com in Idaho Falls:
A former Blackfoot policeman and high school resource officer will spend two days in jail for stealing thousands of prescription painkillers from a drug drop box.
The Post Register reports that Paul Hardwicke pleaded guilty on Wednesday to misdemeanor counts of possession of a legend drug without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and two years of probation, but 178 days of the sentence were suspended.
Hardwicke’s attorney argued his client should get probation since he already lost his job.
Hardwicke was a school resource officer at Blackfoot High School before he was terminated. He started a drug drop box program when people were encouraged to discard unused prescription medications at the police station. Investigators found he was taking medication from the drop box.
Hardwicke is the one that started the drug drop box program in order to encourage residents to bring their unused prescription drugs to the police station for “disposal.”