Fairfield officer, Norwalk mayor's son booked for stealing drug - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Fairfield officer, Norwalk mayor's son booked for stealing drug evidence

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Stephen Rilling is accused of stealing drug evidence, according to Fairfield police. (Fairfield police) Stephen Rilling is accused of stealing drug evidence, according to Fairfield police. (Fairfield police)

A Fairfield police officer and the son of the Norwalk Mayor is accused of snatching evidence.

Police said Det. Stephen Rilling, 40, was charged with third-degree computer crime, second-degree larceny, second-degree forgery, possession of narcotics, false entry by an officer and tampering with evidence.

They said he took narcotic-related substances.

Police said they've been looking into the "misappropriation of drug evidence" which came to their attention last month. Rilling was placed on administrative leave for the duration of an internal investigation.

Stephen Rilling is the son of Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. 

"Like too many other families in Connecticut, my son and our family are facing the effects of the opioid epidemic that is sweeping our state," Harry W. Rilling said in a statement on Friday. 

Harry W. Rilling said his family learned their son "has a substance abuse problem brought on by prescription pain medication," over the past few weeks. 

"He has accepted responsibility for his situation and is in therapy.  We are proud of the way he is facing this problem and will continue to stand by him as he works toward recovery," Harry W. Rilling said. 

Police said they have been carefully documenting heroin cases in the town to track trends, dangers, and actions. Once Rilling's case came to light, the department said it employed stricter evidence procedures. An audit of the department's evidence room found everything accounted for except for the items related to Rilling's case.

"We are a family who believes in the power of prayer.  With prayer and hard work, Steve will get healthy and will move on with his life. This is a personal matter for our family and I will have no further comment," Harry W. Rilling said. 

While the criminal case is ongoing, Stephen Rilling opened up in a public forum. He wrote about his private battle with drugs in an online blog.

In a May 7 blog post on the addiction recovery website, ryanhampton.org, the 19-year veteran wrote that he got addicted to prescription drugs after back surgery. He said he left the police department to get treatment and when he returned to work he went "right back into narcotics work where I was running the show. I was floored that I was placed back into that line of work after coming forward with my problem. I thought it was a little reckless - but I didn't want to let anyone down."

Rilling goes on to say he was clean for a couple of years, but hit a difficult patch with stress in both his work and personal life and relapsed. 

"I began taking opioids again but was not getting it prescribed like before. So, like any good addict, I graduated to heroin. Never in my wildest dreams would I believe that I would stoop so low, but I did," the blog post said.

To read the full blog posts, click here

Stephen Rilling posted a $5,000 court-imposed bond.

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