Former Lincoln Police Chief Arrested For Evidence Tampering

LINCOLN (KFSM) — Former Lincoln Police Chief Brian Key is accused of taking drugs from the department's evidence room.

Key, 41, was arrested Thursday (Dec. 13) in connection with tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia -- both Class D felonies.

Arkansas State Police began investigating Key in September after reports surfaced that Key was soliciting residents for their medicine under the guise of depositing it into the department's drug take-back box, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Officers within the department had also expressed concerns about missing evidence.

Surveillance video allegedly captured Key removing Xanax pills and a pipe from two officers' evidence lockers.

A state police investigator later found used syringes, a glass pipe and a baggie with residue in Key's police-issued vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Key, a 15-year veteran of the department, was fired in October after serving two months as chief. He previously worked as the department's school resource officer.

In November, Mayor Rob Hulse hired Kenneth Albright as chief. Albright previously worked for the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Key is free on a $1,500 bond. He has a hearing set for Dec. 26 in Washington County Circuit Court.

In Arkansas, Class D felonies are punishable by up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.