Australia Former NT police officer Daniel Keelan jailed for supplying cocaine to colleague and stealing gun
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A former police officer who supplied cocaine to a colleague while on duty and stole a police-issued gun will spend at least three months behind bars.
Daniel Keelan, 43, pleaded guilty to three charges in March — including supplying less than a commercial quantity of cocaine and stealing a police-issued weapon.
The former constable admitted to supplying cocaine to another officer, Brittany-Rose Kettle, on 18 occasions.
The NT Supreme Court heard that on some occasions, Keelan was in uniform and working at the Palmerston Police Station.
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On one occasion, the supply occurred in a police vehicle.
“This case does raise serious community trust and confidence issues… with respect, particularly to the stealing charge,” said Justice Jenny Blokland.
“Overall, committing offenses of this kind while a serving police officer does, in my view, increase the objective gravity of the offending through the breach of trust of your employer, who after all is the community of the Northern Territory.”
The court heard Keelan did not supply his female colleague with the drug for profit and charged her between four and five hundred dollars per gram.
'Forgotten' stolen pistol
Keelan’s defence barrister, Jon Tippett QC, argued his client had "forgotten" that he was in possession of a police-issued glock, which the court heard had been stored in a bedside drawer.
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However, Justice Blokland said she had “great difficulty” accepting that he “outright forgot” the weapon.
“You were issued with the glock as part of your duties for the [Rugby] World Cup [in 2017]. It seems to me not to be the kind of item that one forgets,” said Justice Blokland.
Keelan was also found to be in possession of 100 rounds of ammunition.
The court heard the gun had been signed out of the police armoury by another officer and given to Keelan.
Despite a police investigation into the whereabouts of the glock, Mr Tippett told the court the weapon was “never ever brought to [Keelan’s] attention.”
NT Police began investigating Keelan in July 2020.
He was arrested on September 18, 2020, when he admitted during a police interview to using and supplying cocaine for the past six months.
He also admitted to being in possession of the police-issued pistol.
Keelan was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended after three months.
He’ll likely be released from prison in July 2021.
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