Cop on theft, drugs charges
A Victorian policeman has been accused of stealing money from people in return for allowing them to go free, and of trafficking methamphetamine.
Nicholas John Powell, who was stationed at Fitzroy police station, has been charged with theft, drug-trafficking, dealing with the proceeds of crime and misconduct in public office.
A second Victoria Police officer, Brendan Nolan, has been charged with the same offences. Both men have been suspended without pay.
Court documents show that in May 2012, Powell allegedly took $3,000 from a man at Fitzroy police station in exchange for the man’s freedom.
He has also been charged with handling the proceeds of crime, on the basis that the cash was suspected to be the proceeds of crime.
The documents show that a month later, in June, Powell allegedly stole methamphetamine from Fitzroy police station, swapping it for a cutting agent he seized from a criminal.
Powell then allegedly arranged for the methamphetamine to be sold.
It is also alleged that in July that year, Powell stole $2,300 worth of Crown Casino chips from a woman at Fitzroy police station.
The two officers were arrested following an investigation by Taskforce Keel, which was set up by police command to probe the leak of thousands of police documents to people, including some with links to bikie gangs.
Taskforce Keel has focused on Fitzroy police station.
A number of police officers from the station having been suspended or charged with various offences.
Another officer formerly stationed at Fitzroy, David Branov, was sentenced to more than four years in prison in December after pleading guilty to theft, drug and misconduct charges.