MILLSBORO — A Millsboro police sergeant has been indicted after investigation determined that he allegedly tampered with and used drugs stored in the department’s evidence locker, the Delaware Department of Justice announced on Monday.
Matthew Dufour, 34, faces 10 charges — including multiple felonies, a press release said. He is currently on administrative leave without pay or benefits by the Millsboro Police Department.
Sgt. Dufour’s alleged actions were reported to the Department of Justice by the Millsboro Police Department. The department began an investigation into the officer’s alleged actions as soon as they became aware of them, and subsequently referred the investigation to Delaware State Police, the Department of Justice said.
“We are empathetic to everyone grappling with drug use, and are grateful that the Defendant survived his overdose — but accountability matters, particularly in matters of public trust,” said Attorney General Kathy Jennings.
“The Defendant’s actions put his own life in danger, jeopardized the work of his department, and effectively undermined the lawful investigations of his fellow officers.”
Millsboro Police Chief Brian Calloway said “Honor is the characteristic that all law enforcement must uphold.
“Officers must always do the right thing, even when no one is watching. When our agency discovered an Officer was suspected of criminal misconduct, our Department immediately reported these allegations to the Department of Justice requesting a full investigation.”
On Feb. 19, Sgt. Dufour was discovered, unresponsive, inside of his marked police vehicle, exhibiting signs of a drug overdose. He was treated on-scene, including with Naloxone, before being transported to a hospital for further treatment.
Toxicology analysis later revealed the presence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and cocaine in Sgt. Dufour’s system, the Department of Justice said.
A subsequent investigation, including a complete audit of all drug evidence in the Millsboro Police Department’s custody, indicated that Sgt. Dufour had deliberately mishandled drug evidence set for destruction on as many as 13 occasions, the Department of Justice said.
The investigation determined that Sgt. Dufour only tampered with evidence on closed cases and that was set for destruction — however, the potential shadow that Sgt. Dufour’s misconduct cast on drug evidence that he could have accessed led prosecutors in March to drop several pending criminal cases in accordance with their ethical and constitutional responsibilities, the Department of Justice said.
The charges against Sgt. Dufour include first-degree tampering with public records (two counts), second-degree forgery, offering a false instrument for filing, obtaining controlled substances by theft (four counts) and official misconduct.
If convicted on all charges, Sgt. Dufour faces a sentence range of 0 to 27 years, the Department of Justice said. Dufour’s indictment was secured by the Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust, following investigations led by the Delaware State Police and Millsboro Police Department.