Former SWAT commander Lt. Daniel Burrows arrested, accused stealing drugs from retired co-worker

PALMN BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- The former Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office SWAT commander was arrested Thursday on charges that he stole prescription drugs from a retired co-worker.

Lt. Daniel Burrows, 46, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Thursday afternoon. He is facing charges of exploitation of a disabled adult, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a schedule II narcotic and theft.

Burrows, a 17-year sheriff's office veteran, was placed on administrative leave with pay on Jan. 3 after the widow of a retired deputy reported to the sheriff's office that Burrows had allegedly stolen an estimated 94 oxycodone pills from her dying husband on Dec. 31. Mike Collister died of cancer on Jan. 10.

His widow, 47-year-old Bettee Collister, said that Burrows also had stolen a rifle, according to a probable cause affidavit.

An investigation launched on Jan. 20 revealed Burrows had also swiped four Oxycontin pills from Mike Collister's night stand some time in December, the affidavit stated.

Bettee Collister told investigators that her husband had warned her that Burrows had a "pill problem" and instructed her to keep his medications secured.

But on Dec. 31, while Bettee Collister was not home, Burrows stopped by to visit and allegedly forced Mike Collister to open the door to the safe where Collister kept his guns and pain medications.

Burrows walked away with a rifle, five codeine pills and the oxycodone pills that were being secured in the safe, according to the affidavit.

A witness, whose name was redacted in the affidavit, said that on the day Burrows was placed on administrative leave - he asked a friend to drive him to a rehabilitation center.

During the ride, Burrows allegedly confessed to taking Collister's pills and admitted to being addicted to "prescription medication for eight years," the affidavit stated.

During his tenure with the sheriff's office, Burrows also had worked in the narcotics division and as a watch commander in the western district which includes Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee and the Glades area.

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