7 Eyewitness News has confirmed that Chief of Kenmore Police Peter Breitnauer is under arrest on a federal drug charge.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Breitnauer was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of hydrocodone on Friday.
Breitnauer could face a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The complaint states that FBI Special Agents asked Breitnauer about allegations that he had been diverting prescription pills from the NYS Medication Drop Box located at the Kenmore Police Station.
The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that he admitted that he is addicted to hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and had been taking hydrocodones from the box for his personal use. He led agents to a closet in his office, where he had more than 100 hydrocodone pills that he had diverted from the drop box.
“It’s a sad day,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Chief Breitnauer has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a respected member of Western New York’s law enforcement community. Today’s events certainly do not erase all the good that the Chief has done during his tenure. Rather, they highlight the devastating and destructive power of opioids and underscore the fact that anyone can become ensnared in their allure. There is absolutely no evidence suggesting that the Chief ever distributed any of the drugs he is alleged to have diverted.”
Breitnauer made an appearance in federal court and was released on conditions.
According to the Village of Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang, Breitnauer is on administrative leave and Captain TJ Phillips is acting Chief of Police.
Mayor Mang says a full investigation is being conducted into the matter and cannot make any further comment.