EDWARDSVILLE - A case that required enormous evidence gathering has resulted in a guilty plea to six charges by former Edwardsville Police officer Brian F. Barker, 43, of Moro.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said Barker, a previous 20-year Edwardsville Police Department veteran, faces up to 40 years of prison time in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
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The six counts ranged from unlawful possession of stolen firearms to burglary, official misconduct and residential burglary, Gibbons said.
“It is really disheartening to see someone abuse the public’s trust in such a terrible way,” Gibbons said. “I think the silver lining to this is the proof that when someone commits a crime, regardless of their position, they are held accountable and the public can see no matter what the person does for a living or their position, they are still accountable to the law.”
Gibbons said the case started when the owner of Reality Salon and Spa contacted Edwardsville Police and told them a concealed video surveillance system revealed illegal activity on Dec. 21, 2014, at the business.
“Everybody was absolutely floored by what tipped the start of the case,” Gibbons said. “It was a video recording of him entering the business on duty in uniform and stealing from the cash drawer. It was because of the intrepid business owners that we were really able to shine a light on his activities that led to all the other cases being discovered.”
Once the evidence was brought forward to the Edwardsville Police Department about Barker’s activities, the department turned the information over to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to investigate, Gibbons said.
Gibbons said a lot of work remains in the case to get restitution for victims.
“We are looking to identify additional victims if possible,” Gibbons said. “If anyone feels they may be a victim of Mr. Barker, they should contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. We are contacting all known victims and working with them.”
Gibbons said since he had been state’s attorney, this case had more pieces of evidence to log and store than any of them.
“There was over 5,000 pieces of stolen property in this case,” he said. “We expended a lot of resources in this case and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department did a great job.
“We are just happy to have the next step and we look forward to locking him up for decades.”