Former cop accused of stealing drugs extradited, booked into Phoenix jail

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William McCartney By Catherine Holland William McCartney By Catherine Holland
William McCartney By Catherine Holland William McCartney By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A former Phoenix police officer accused of stealing drugs and arrested in Pittsburgh is back in Arizona this morning.

William McCartney, 37, was extradited from Pennsylvania and arrived in Phoenix overnight. Refusing to make eye contact with 3TV's reporter, much of his face hidden by a baseball cap, McCartney had nothing to say as he was escorted to jail.

McCartney was arrested on June 22, just three days after he was indicted on 40 felony counts, including tampering with evidence, theft, and possession of narcotics.

The charges stem from a January 2011 audit conducted by the Phoenix Police Department's Profession Standards Bureau. It was a quarterly audit of drugs items in their property room that were slated for destruction.

During the routine review, auditors discovered that over-the-counter medications had been substituted for narcotic drugs, including oxycodone.

Investigators were able to establish a pattern of discrepancies that pointed to McCartney.

He was first arrested on March 11, 2011 for allegedly stealing the oxycodone pills and replacing them with OTC meds like Aleve.

"At this point we believe that over 2,400 pills have either been removed or swapped out,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said at the time.

Authorities believe the scam might have been going on for years until that randomly scheduled audit revealed the irregularities.

Oxycodone is a common painkiller that is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its "high potential for abuse."

On the street, oxycodone, also known as "oxy," "blue," "kicker" and "hillbilly heroine," reportedly sells for anywhere from $5 to $40 per pill depending on the dosage, which generally ranges from 10mg to 80mg.

McCartney, who had been with the Phoenix Police Department since 1999, resigned shortly after his March 2011 arrest. He was later released pending an investigation.

McCartney faces a variety of charges, including theft, fraudulent schemes, computer tampering, narcotic drug violations and tampering with evidence.