BURLINGTON, Vt. — A former police officer in Vermont has been charged with taking heroin seized in a drug raid and giving it to an addict with whom he was having an intimate relationship.

Former Royalton officer John Breault appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Friday for an initial court hearing on a heroin distribution charge. He was released with conditions and is to appear in court in October.

His lawyer said the 31-year-old Breault, who resigned last week, was trying to help a friend and has never done drugs.

The criminal complaint filed by an FBI agent said Breault supplied the woman with drugs this summer. The woman was an opioid addict and Breault removed heroin and prescription medicines from a police evidence closet in July and supplied her with enough to get through the week without going into withdrawal, the agent said in the complaint.

Several times, Breault opened a secure drug take-back box at the department and let the woman take prescription drugs from it, the complaint said. He also gave her cash to buy heroin and she would snort it in the car with him present, the complaint said.

In a June 21 raid, Breault seized 78 bags of heroin and numerous prescription pills from a local man, according to the complaint. Authorities searched the police evidence closet for the drugs Sept. 13 and found an unsealed brown paper bag labeled with the man’s name and “heroin, pills” on it but no drugs inside, the complaint said.

The FBI agent said a Facebook exchange between Breault and the woman also showed he was afraid she would tell her ex-husband how she obtained the drugs and Breault would get arrested and fired.

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