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St. Paul officer nabbed on drug charges

Staff report • Jan 18, 2007 at 9:51 AM

WISE - Wise County law enforcement authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of a 22-year-old St. Paul police officer on drug charges.

During a press conference in Wise County Circuit Court, Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ron Elkins described how an informant tipped off authorities to a St. Paul officer engaging in the local illicit drug scene.

Elkins said Officer Daven Cory Phillips was arrested late Wednesday and charged with attempting to possess OxyContin, conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, and breaking and entering. Elkins said an undercover operation was organized by the Wise County Sheriff's Department, Virginia State Police and the Southwest Virginia Regional Narcotics Task Force to snare Phillips in the act of attempting to buy OxyContin.

Elkins said authorities received information that Phillips previously purchased drugs while on duty and expressed an interest in future purchases. Undercover officers and the informant arranged a deal with Phillips for Wednesday night, and sold the officer two imitation OxyContin tablets. Elkins said Phillips was in uniform and driving his St. Paul police cruiser at the time.

Authorities also allege that Phillips had possession of a key to a St. Paul man's home and gave it to another individual who subsequently entered the house in search of narcotics. In return for providing the key, Elkins said Phillips expected to receive a share of the drugs taken from the home. He said Phillips was in possession of the key because St. Paul officers regularly checked on the welfare of the resident.

Phillips was interviewed by agents involved in the investigation and undercover sting. Elkins said Phillips gave a full confession to the allegations and to prior use of illegal drugs. Elkins said Phillips was released on $20,000 bond and will probably be arraigned on Monday.

Elkins said Phillips has been employed as a police officer in St. Paul since March 6 of last year. Wise County Sheriff Ronnie Oakes said Phillips completed the regional law enforcement academy's certification training on Dec. 1.

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