MISSOULA, Mont. — A former evidence technician at the Montana State Crime Lab who stole opioids that were being stored as evidence was given a suspended sentence with community service.

The Missoulian reports (http://bit.ly/2wrwYBu ) as part of the 10-year, fully suspended sentence, Steven Conrad Brester must complete 690 hours of community service, 10 for each of the 69 defendants across the state whose cases were dismissed because evidence against them was tainted by Brester’s actions.

Brester admitted to felonies for tampering with public records and drug possession; another charge of evidence tampering was dismissed under a plea agreement reached in June.

Brester spent nearly 20 years as a Missoula police officer before joining the crime lab.

Prosecutors sought a 15-year Department of Corrections sentence, with 10 of those years suspended.

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