KENMORE, N.Y. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday that Kenmore Police Chief Peter Breitnauer was arrested on a federal drug charge.
Breitnauer was arrested by FBI agents at Kenmore Police Headquarters and charged by criminal complaint with possession of hydrocodone.
According to the complaint, FBI agents asked Breitnauer Friday about allegations that he had been diverting prescription pills from the NYS Medication Drop Box at the police station.
“Breitnauer admitted that he is addicted to hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and had been taking hydrocodones from the box for his personal use,” a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The defendant guided agents to a closet in his office, where he had stashed more than 100 hydrocodone pills that he had diverted from the drop box.”
U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. said Friday that there is “absolutely no evidence” that Breitnauer distributed any of the drugs he’s alleged to have diverted.
“Today’s events certainly do not erase all the good that the Chief has done during his tenure,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Rather, they highlight the devastating and destructive power of opioids and underscore the fact that anyone can become ensnared in their allure.”
Breitnauer made an initial appearance in federal court on Friday and was released on conditions.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Breitnauer has been in the Kenmore Police Department for more than 30 years. According to friends in law enforcement across Erie County, he was supportive of drug rehab programs.