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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Belleview officer lands in jail for meth, unauthorized computer access

A 53-year-old former Belleview police officer who was Baker Acted is behind bars after he was accused of possessing methamphetamine and providing information from secure law enforcement databases to unauthorized third parties.

On Thursday, September 7, Belleview Police Chief Terry Holland was made aware of threatening statements that were made by an officer identified as Gregory Freeman. These alleged statements caused the police chief to fear that Freeman may harm himself or others, according to a social media post from the Belleview Police Department.

Gregory Freeman BPD OfficerPhoto: Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services
Former BPD Officer Gregory Freeman was arrested on September 15, 2023 (Photo: Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services)

Chief Holland was also informed that Freeman had been using methamphetamine. Within hours of receiving this information, Freeman was taken into protective custody under the Baker Act. A risk protection order was also obtained the same day, which required that Freeman surrender all firearms and ammunition in his possession.

According to Belleview police, a search warrant was obtained for Freeman’s residence, and his home was searched by Marion County Sheriff’s Office detectives and BPD officers. Inside Freeman’s closet, investigators found drug paraphernalia and a total of 6.5 grams of methamphetamine.

BPD stated that an investigation into Freeman continued, and it was discovered that he had also accessed secure law enforcement databases for non-work related inquires. He then allegedly provided this information to third parties who were not authorized to receive it.

On Friday, September 15, two warrants were obtained, and Freeman was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is being held on $13,000 bond. He is facing the following charges: unlawful computer access (two counts), possession of methamphetamine (one count), and possession of drug paraphernalia (one count).

According to BPD, Freeman submitted a letter of resignation via his attorney on Friday morning.

Chief Holland released the following statement shortly after Freeman was arrested:

“While I am angry and saddened that one of my officers would break the law by using drugs and accessing secure databases for personal reasons, I am extremely proud of the officers in my department and the investigators with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for their work in swiftly bringing this case to a close. I now trust that our judicial system will hold him accountable for his actions and for breaching the trust that the public placed in him.

“I want the citizens of Belleview to know that we have no tolerance for this kind of behavior and that if any of them have information that may prove useful to uncovering any other misconduct by this individual to please contact us so that it, too, can be investigated.”