Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announces arrest of police officer for allegedly buying drugs on duty

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced that agents from the Office of Attorney General's Organized Crime Section (OCS) have arrested a police officer for allegedly purchasing pills and cocaine from drug dealers while in uniform and in his police car. 

Attorney General Kane identified the defendant as Andrew Wanto, 29, of Fair Oaks, Allegheny County, a part-time police officer with the Ambridge Police Department in Beaver County and the Leet Township Police Department in Allegheny County. 

The defendant also allegedly tipped off drug dealers about unrelated investigations being conducted by the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigations (BNI) and the Drug Task Force. 

Wanto was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 17 by OCS agents after he purchased what he thought was an oxycontin pill while in uniform and in an Ambridge police car. He is charged with one count of attempt possession of one placebo oxycontin pill, one count of the attempt possession roxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet pills, one count of criminal conspiracy to commit obstructing law or other governmental function and one count of hindering apprehension. 

He was arraigned before Freedom Borough Magisterial District Judge Edward Howe. Bail was set at $25,000 unsecured and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 24, 2013. 

Wanto will be prosecuted in Beaver County by the Beaver County District Attorney's Office. 

Attorney General Kane thanked the Ambridge Police Department, Harmony Township Police Department and Leetsdale Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)