STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Cottage Grove officer accused of stealing meth pleads not guilty

Phillip Allan Beach, 48, of Cottage Grove made an initial appearance today in federal court.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 5:10 AM

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A former Cottage Grove police officer accused of stealing methamphetamine from the department’s evidence locker has pleaded not guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Phillip Allan Beach, 48, of Cottage Grove made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court. Following his plea, Beach was released pending trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the Cottage Grove Police Department’s investigation revealed that between March 2010 and June 2015, Beach accessed numerous pieces of drug evidence from multiple cases.

Beach was suspended June 11, 2015, and later that month the department asked the Oregon State Police to investigate the case to determine if there were criminal charges. The investigation was transferred to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI for investigation and prosecution.

A criminal complaint says that in May 2015, an evidence coordinator with the Cottage Grove Police Department reported to their supervisor that Beach accessed the department’s evidence locker more frequently than other officers for no apparent reason.

A commander with the department examined the bag Beach was said to have accessed repeatedly and found that two plastic bags containing several ounces of meth crystals had been sliced open.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in June of 2015, the Cottage Grove Police Department began an investigation into Beach’s conduct, placing hidden cameras inside the evidence locker. On June 11, 2015, they said Beach was recorded entering the locker without signing in, accessing the evidence bag, and taking a small portion of the meth.

Investigators weighed the evidence bag afterward and found a 7.3 gram reduction in weight, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The department’s investigation also determined that at times Beach would indicate he was taking drugs to send to the crime lab for testing, but no drugs were sent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. On at least one occasion, Beach is alleged to have replaced meth with salt to conceal his actions.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 56°
Corvallis
Few Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 53°
Roseburg
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
North Bend
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 60°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events