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Former Fairview Twp. police officer convicted of stealing ‘drug money’ in FBI sting

Tyson Baker

FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa.–A former Fariview Township Police officer was convicted in federal court Thursday in  of stealing drug money and falsifying documents to cover it up.

Tyson Baker, 43, of Etters, was convicted of two counts of theft of drug money that was subject to seizure and forfeiture, one count of falsifying or altering records to impede obstruct or influence a federal drug investigation, one count of theft of federal property and one count of presenting a false police report to the FBI. Baker was acquitted of falsifying a police document in a separate theft.

Baker served as a Fairview Township police officer for 17 years, but was fired after being charged. A jury spend 3 1/2 hours deliberating Thursday, convicting him of five of six federal counts against him.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Harrisburg received information that Baker might be stealing money from drug traffickers who were arrested, the subject of traffic stops, or both, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. On November 21, 2015, Baker orchestrated the theft of $2,000 in drug proceeds seized by the Fairview Township Police Department during a search of a residence that resulted in the seizure of several pounds of marijuana and approximately $15,000, according to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler. At the time another officer with the Fairview Township Police Department cooperating with the FBI, recorded conversations with Baker regarding the theft in which Baker discussed how the officer should steal drug proceeds from drug traffickers during traffic stops.

On December 16, 2015, the FBI, with the full cooperation of the Fairview Township Police Department, arranged for an undercover vehicle operated by an undercover FBI agent to be stopped by Fairview Township. Baker had the vehicle towed from the scene and, without a warrant and in spite of directions from an FBI agent not to search the vehicle, Baker searched the vehicle and stole $3,000 out of $15,000 concealed in a gym bag in the back of the vehicle. The undercover vehicle was equipped with video recording equipment that recorded Baker searching the vehicle without a warrant. On December 18, 2015, Baker was arrested by the FBI and confessed to both incidents.

Fairview Township Police Department cooperated fully with the FBI and state law enforcement in the investigation.