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Former Hartford Police Chief Charged with 8 Felonies
May 31, 2023
LANSING – Tressa Beltran, 57, of Hartford, who retired as the City of Hartford Chief of Police earlier this year, has been charged with nine separate counts, all relating to alleged conduct as police chief, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced. The charges, which include eight felony counts and one misdemeanor, were filed in the 7th District Court in Paw Paw.
While working as the City of Hartford’s chief law enforcement officer, the State alleges that Beltran sold controlled substances, stole controlled substances, used her influence to extort others to provide her with controlled substances, illegally possessed several different types of controlled substances, and committed embezzlement.
“The majority of Michigan law enforcement officers perform their duties with integrity and with the knowledge that they are not above the law,” Nessel said. “Members of law enforcement are expected to follow the law and not use their positions for illegal purposes. The Public Integrity Unit of my office is committed to holding accountable officers who misuse the public’s trust and we will continue to investigate and prosecute such cases.”
Beltran is charged with:
- One count of delivery or possession with the intent to deliver less than 50 grams of a controlled substance;
- One count of using a computer to commit a crime;
- One count of extortion;
- One count of embezzlement by a public official over $50 in value;
- One count of misconduct in office;
- One count of larceny in a building;
- One count of possession of less than 25 grams of a controlled substance;
- One count of possession of a controlled substance/analogues;
- One count of possession of a Schedule 5 controlled substance.
Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott said, “I would personally like to thank everyone involved with this investigation. When information comes to the sheriff’s office about law enforcement officers doing acts that are unlawful or inappropriate, we will investigate these allegations to the fullest extent possible. The entire investigative team obtained information and were able to build a quality case based upon the experience and knowledge they have gained over the years.”
“This was a complex case and involved many parts that have been put together to hold those in positions of public trust accountable,” Sheriff Abbott continued. “With the cooperation of the City of Hartford, we have been able to bring some resolution to this case and will continue to hold everyone accountable for their actions. We thank the Michigan Attorney General’s office for the hard work and dedication during this investigation.”
Detectives from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive investigation into Chief Tressa Beltran after receiving numerous tips about her actions. The investigation concluded with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit discovering evidence that Beltran had used her position as Chief of Police to commit numerous offenses.
Tressa Beltran’s next court date is a probable cause conference which is scheduled for June 14, 2023.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.