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Ex-Cop Enters Guilty Pleas for Guns, Drug Charges

Former Hatboro Police detective sergeant John Becker pleaded guilty to 18 of 38 counts stemming from drugs, weapons thefts and his misuse of informants to obtain drugs for his own personal use.

A former Hatboro Police officer of 17 years is facing up to 100 years behind bars following a guilty plea he entered Tuesday morning.

, 43, of Horsham, wept as he left the courtroom at Montgomery County Courthouse following what was supposed to have been a pre-trial conference. Instead, Becker entered guilty pleas for 18 counts – 10 of which are felony firearms counts, each carrying a five to 10-year sentence.

Judge Garrett Page warned Becker that by pleading guilty to charges stemming from the Attorney General’s Office filing against him in May, that he had a “50-year exposure” and that the high end of his sentencing could result in sentences running consecutively for up to 100 years.

Until his , Becker had worked as a Hatboro Police officer. According to the criminal complaint against him, beginning in December 2009 and continuing through January 2011, Becker had convinced or coerced several informants – under the guise of furthering narcotics investigations – to buy prescription drugs, as well as cocaine, for his own personal use. Becker, who had served as the police department’s evidence custodian, is also said to have stolen guns, cash and drugs from the department’s evidence locker.

Becker declined comment Tuesday. His attorney, Vincent DiFabio, declined comment except to say that he would be filing a sentencing memorandum that would offer “great detail” about why his client entered guilty pleas.

Becker signed a waiver to allow the sentencing to occur beyond the 90-day requirement. His sentencing has not yet been set. He remains free on bail.

Steven Long August 28, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Free on bail? I know it's not murder ... but a corrupt policeman is about as bad as you can get, without killing someone. So now, this guy is free to continue his drug and theft spree (one last time) before sentencing!? WOW!
karen shanda August 28, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Did you ever think he could be in recovery. We all make mistakes, sometimes ours are bigger. He was always a gentleman and a cop cop before his disease struck.
TwinkleToes August 28, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Not everything is as black and white as you would like to believe. That's why there is a judicial system - for them to decide. I am far more worried about the person/people who shot a cop in Bucks County yesterday, than a man destroying his own life with drugs.
goldenspoon August 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
give me an effing break and stop making excuses for this guy. how many lives has this dirty cop ruined? Where was his compassion for the addicts he arrested or set up? he is a coward that hid behind his badge. the penalty for Hatboro’s fallen angel should be swift and severe.
TwinkleToes August 28, 2012 at 09:05 PM
A coward? Doesn't it say that he entered a guilt plea? Coward would have said innocent. Period. And the compassion for an addict? Do you "hear" yourself? How about the addicts get themselves some help before they, themselves, get themselves in trouble with their own jobs and families??? I am not denying that he used his badge negligently - abused it - but making excuses for him? Hardly. Whose lives did he RUIN (other than his own)? Really? Whose? Someone who rapes people or abuses people ruins people's lives - he took drugs from people (albeit illegally) - but I can't understand how that ruined their lives? Ever think they were ruining their own by having the drugs in the first place? He didn't force anyone to do drugs. I honestly feel this is the best case scenario. He resigned and entered a guilty plea. What more do you want from him? Yes, he was a cop who made poor choices - but he admitted to them. Move on. Focus on some of the local politicians or something for a change. I am sure you can keep yourself occupied there!
goldenspoon August 28, 2012 at 09:44 PM
This is the best case scenario, for those that want this mess to fade away.
TwinkleToes August 29, 2012 at 01:33 AM
I withdraw my statement about the bucks county cop, seeing that he made up the story.
TERRI D August 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM
to Twinkle Toes: who's lives did he ruin? so many to count- he USED many young people- I know because my son has been an addict for 14 years since meeting OFC BEcker (funny story- at DARE - Keith Valley- 6th grade) Becker used to approacj children and coerce them to 'work' for him as informants. But NO ONE was ever arrested- now we all know why. he specifically used a girl who was friends with my son. She always said to everyone- "I can just call JOhn' if they were in trouble. She became a prostuitute at age 23 after using drugs with John and had affair with him. She also robbed many homes in the area.. and her mother died recently of cancer- they stole her medication! Another child used - went on to become a very serious addict, lived on the streets and after getting arrested - he died 2 days after leaving jail of overdose. He left 2 small children - 7 & 5. My son also has young child. there have been a lot of robberies, serious crimes, addicts, deaths - all directly attrubuted to JOhn's actions or inactions. Criminal were left to continue their spree after helping John. I personally called him so many times - thru 911- in times of crisis and never was helped. I had to actually give my son money each time he responded !
TERRI D August 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM
hopefully he will share a cell with some of his informabts ..say HI to Sara - Tom - Keith- when you get to jail JOhn !
Keyser Soze August 29, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Steven Long- Yeah, you're right... down with the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure and the 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
TERRI D August 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Twinkletoes..Johnny Boy IS to blame for his own actions AND the young people I spoke of are all known to ALL of Hatboro 's "finest "..including our esteemed chief.. I still don't yet get how he didn't know but...whatever All the public servants know my family ..and this recent issue with poor dear Mr Becker just explain a lot. If anyone would like to let me know when the sentencing is..I'll drive..
karen shanda August 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM
For all you people who have so much to say, why don't you own up to it with your real names. The whole situation is a tragedy for all involved.
TwinkleToes August 30, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Terri, That is so generous of you to give up time to go to the sentencing. I am unable to as I work fulltime and have children who are athletes (not of driving age yet, so I drive them and coach). I think you will feel some relieve and closure to your past when you observe the sentencing. I am sure that will help you move forward with your life. Believe it or not, we agree that John Becker is to blame for all of his actions. As humans, more specifically adults, we all make our own choices and reap the rewards when possible and suffer the consequences when caught. Him accepting blame and fault is a positive step. I am sure you were relieved when he resigned so you could move on with your life and possibly having him involved with your life. Karen, I did comment on this before when someone asked. I choose to keep my identity private to protect my career and my family. Trust me - as I have zero clue who you are (based on the name you shared) - you do not know me either. I am very confident our paths never have and never will cross so knowing my name would not assist you in any way, regardless. Additionally, I am sharing my opinion only. I am not forcing my opinion on anyone and have no problem respectfully agreeing to disagree with any of the other commenters. I agree that it's a tragedy for all involved. Just curious - what are your (collective) thoughts on the Bucks County patrolman who made up the hoax about his own shooting?
TwinkleToes August 30, 2012 at 02:57 AM
**Relief, not relieve...sorry for all of the typos in my entries. Typing on my phone is not my best option for accuracy.
Bruce Coleman August 30, 2012 at 03:41 AM
sorry john, you f***ed up big time. quit hiding behind your lawyer. man up! im tired about hearing all the b.s. about why. you can do your rehab while you serve your time. im gonna guess you will plead so you can go toone of those country club prisons that they put polititions. terri d has it right. put you in with the "bad guys" you locked up. now youcant hide behind your badge, gun or addiction. ps....... dont drop the soap!!!!
Really215 August 30, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Becker was, is and always will be a dirty cop. Like you said he messed up a lot of lives.. I am one of them. He is corrupt and don't think he's the only one. There's no way in hell none of the other cops including the captain didn't know anything. I think they just didn't want to look tarnished. He's been in multiple accidents with police vehicles and was never tested for any alcohol or drugs. Hummm makes u wonder.
TwinkleToes August 30, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Terri D. First off all, I am sorry that your son is an addict. You clearly are frustrated and clearly it is above and beyond the case of John Becker. Let me give you some history so you know I can somewhat relate to your situation. I grew up with (formerly) alcoholics and have a very close family member who was a drug addict. Additionally, I had a non-distant family member overdose on drugs, unintentionally. I get your frustration with the drugs themselves and the choices each individual makes to do them. First of all, the Borough is quite small and they all work different shifts. If you called 911, you should have talked to a county dispatcher, not John (unless you asked for him specifically). Secondly, even if you called the desk "many times" - the chances that you got John answering, without asking for him, are few and far between. REGARDLESS, I am sorry that you had negative experiences with any cop and I am equally sorry that you felt the need to give your son money "each time he responded". I only wish you realized that something didn't sound right, and reported it. Call me crazy, but if I am calling for police assistance, regardless of the situation, I should not have to pay. They are paid tax dollars.
TwinkleToes August 30, 2012 at 06:10 PM
{continued} That would be like paying a teacher to teach - certain professions, while "services" are not ones in which you pay. Likewise, you wouldn't pay the tax collector, nor public works, if you needed their assistance. I am glad you realize that for the future. In addition - first of all - if your son has been using John becker as a source for 14 years, shame on you for not reporting it yourself. Even if you didn't want to turn your son in, going to the Chief of Police to report illegal transactions, only seems appropriate. With all of this knowledge, and direct quotes that you were citing, you should feel some weight on your own shoulders for responsibility in not reporting. I am NOT blaming you - however - given what you have stated, I feel if John is so at fault for the girl becoming a prostitute, etc. then you should hold some blame as well. Think of how many lives you could have "saved" if you spoke up 14 years ago. Live and learn, right? Finally - even if I am in informant or am the dealer myself - no one is forcing me to take the drugs. A person themself makes that choice. And if you are implying that they were "forced" then shame on them for not speaking up. Think of the lives they could have "saved" too. In closing - I think he is accepting fault and there is not much more he can do. There are far worse crimes in this world and I hope some lives were saved (directly or indirectly) as a result of John's addiction and crimes coming to fruition.
Cora Rowe August 31, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Once again, Patch Theresa, thanks for keeping us updated on this police soap opera
Arkansas Dave September 05, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Burn in hell you scumbag dirty rotten coward. And please with this disease thing. Gimmie a break. He broke the law countless times while he was (Supposed) to be enforcing it. Stealing, high at work, crashing vehicles on the job, setting people up to steal drugs, putting residents in danger every day with his "disease". What a bastard!!! And now he cries after his plea when leaving the court house. Aww poor guy, it's all that damn diseases fault right? I'm confident that the judge will knock his head off at sentencing.
Maggie September 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I have no doubt John was a good cop before his addiction. My son was also used by John. One of the ways he would get the kids to "help" him was to arrest them and then tell them if they would work with them it would help their case. He would have them make buys for him so he could arrest the dealers however they were never charged. I remember one time he got pissed because my son would not make a buy in Warminster because he questioned why John was trying to get someone in Warminster instead of telling the cops there. Addiction is a horrible disease and it just keeps getting bigger. It can happen to anyone, my son is from a good home. Thankfully he is in recovery and doing well but you never know. John should be punished for his actions, he abused the power he had so he hurt more than just himself. Sadly it was mostly young people he hurt who needed help. Addiction is not a choice. It may start from stupid decisions however it gets beyond your control. I do hope he gets the full sentence. I don't understand how he is out on only $1,000 bail.
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Maggie, His bail is $10,000, not $1,000.
Maggie September 05, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Yes but doesn't that come out to 1,000 cash? If not my mistake. I know I read in the paper it was 1,000.

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