The man in charge of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s Emergency Medical Services division has been arrested for allegedly stealing a quantity of addictive narcotics from district drug lockers, police and district officials confirmed Tuesday.
Martinez police officers arrested Richard Stephenson, 50, the district’s Chief of Emergency Medical Services, on Sunday morning on suspicion of possessing fentanyl – a highly addictive synthetic opioid – and other drugs reportedly found in his Martinez home, authorities said.
In a prepared release, District Fire Chief Jeff Carman called the circumstances leading to Stephenson’s arrest: “an isolated incident that did not involve the public or affect services provided to the public.”
A Martinez resident and 19-year veteran of the district, Stephenson was arrested after a roommate reportedly found a cache of drugs and paraphernalia hidden within their residence.
Stephenson’s position with the district provides him with access to storage lockers and other receptacles where highly addictive drugs used by emergency responders are routinely stored, investigators said.
Stephenson has been placed on leave from his role with the district. Details of his custody status after his arrest were not given.