British police officer imprisoned for tipping off drug dealer

Jan. 15, 2014 at 1:22 AM

WOLVERHAMPTON, England, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A former police detective in Birmingham, England, has been sentenced to 28 months for tipping off a drug dealer on police activity, officials said Tuesday.

Daniel Watts, who was suspended after his arrest last year, pleaded guilty to official misconduct and was sentenced in October, the Birmingham Mail reported. But news media were barred from reporting on the case until the trial of the dealer, Stephen Hunt, was finished.

Hunt was convicted Monday. He received 10 years for drug dealing and 28 months for misconduct.

Watts, 31, joined the West Midlands Police in 2001. He admitted searching police computer records and passing information to Hunt starting in 2005.

"As soon as Watts was suspected of acting improperly an investigation was launched that resulted in his arrest and suspension from duty," said Superintendent Tim Godwin of the West Midlands Professional Standards Department. "He was subsequently sacked by the Chief Constable at an internal hearing, following his guilty plea in court, and has now been jailed."

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