For Immediate Release
January 5, 2012
Karin Eckel, Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announces that Roger Martel, 40, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was convicted and sentenced in the 3rd Circuit Court-District Division-Ossipee, on one count of theft by unauthorized taking, (RSA 637:3) and one count of controlling a vehicle where a controlled drug is illegally kept (RSA 318-B:2).
The charges were the result of a four month investigation by the Wolfeboro Police Department and the Attorney General's Office into Martel's activities while a police officer for the Wolfeboro Police Department. Martel had been a member of the Wolfeboro Police Department since August 2003. The investigation revealed that while on duty on May 15, 2011, Martel entered, without authorization, a secured evidence room where he stole 120 Oxycodone pills. The pills had been obtained and secured by the Wolfeboro Police Department as part of the Drug Take Back program.
At the plea and sentencing hearing, the State recommended that Martel be sentenced to concurrent sentences of twelve months at the Carroll County House of Corrections, with all but thirty days deferred for one year. Martel recommended that he be sentenced to twelve months at the House of Corrections, with all but three days deferred for one year. In support of his recommendation, Martel told Judge Varney how he had lost his career and his life in New Hampshire as a result of his having become addicted to pain medication after having been prescribed the medication for back and shoulder injuries. According to Martel, it was this addiction that led him to steal the Oxycodone pills from the police evidence room. After considering the arguments from the State and Martel, Judge Varney imposed the sentence of twelve months at the House of Corrections, with all but three days deferred for one year. The court further imposed the negotiated terms that Martel must obtain a substance abuse evaluation from a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor and follow all counselor recommendations. In addition, Martel paid a $350 fine. Finally, Martel relinquished his certification as a police officer and agreed not to ever seek further employment in law enforcement.
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney said, "Those who become police officers swear to perform their duties lawfully for the public's best interest. This Office will continue to hold accountable and prosecute any police officer who engages in criminal activity and thus violates the laws they have sworn to uphold."
Delaney also stated: "This case demonstrates the extent to which prescription drug abuse and misuse has become a major public health and public safety problem in New Hampshire. I am working closely with leaders in our medical, public health, law enforcement and service provider communities to identify strategies to combat this growing problem."
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301