71.3 F
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Trial set for Belleview officer accused of drug, computer access offenses

A former Belleview police officer accused of possessing methamphetamine and providing information from law enforcement databases to unauthorized third parties is set to go to trial in the case.

Gregory Freeman, 54, is scheduled for jury trial on May 20, 2024 at the Marion County Judicial Center, which is located at 110 NW 1st Avenue in Ocala.

Freeman is charged with four counts of accessing a computer or electronic device without authority, one count of possession of methamphetamine, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

In a statement emailed to Ocala-News.com, an individual purporting to be Freeman criticized previous news coverage of his case.

“I am the former police officer mentioned in this news report,” reads the email. In the email, the author alleges that the story is “harmful to” Freeman’s case because it characterizes him in a “negative defamatory way.”

“If you want to report something, report how I chased down a bank robber on foot in August 2022,” reads the email. It goes on to cite “numerous domestic battery cases” and “sex crimes” that Freeman has worked over the years.

“I feel like I’m being unfairly subjected subjected to false allegations and it’s harmful to my case,” reads the email.

The email address and phone number provided in the correspondence are allegedly registered to Freeman, according to public records.

Freeman was originally arrested last September after he allegedly made threatening statements that caused Belleview Police Department Chief Terry Holland to fear that he may hurt himself or others.

At the time, the chief was also informed of the officer’s alleged use of methamphetamine.

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

Within hours of the information being relayed to the chief, 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.

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 allegedly found drug paraphernalia and a total of 6.5 grams of methamphetamine.

Detectives also determined that Freeman allegedly accessed secure law enforcement databases for non-work related inquires during his employment.

Law enforcement authorities claim Freeman allegedly provided the information to third parties who were not authorized to receive it.

After his arrest, Freeman submitted a letter of resignation via his attorney to the department.

Freeman is being represented by Ocala-based attorney Jimmie Sparrow of the Sparrow & Fairchild law firm.