Draper officer resigns amid drug allegations

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 23 2011 3:32 p.m. MDT

DRAPER — Less than three hours after Draper police officer Ben Beglarian was seen allegedly smoking drugs in his marked patrol car, he quit his job.

"He voluntarily resigned," said Draper Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter. "He didn't say much. Obviously this is turning his life upside down. I don't think he made any remarks."

On Friday, security guards at Sportsmans Warehouse, 165 W. 7200 South, spotted Beglarian in his marked Draper police K-9 unit vehicle in the store parking lot. They called police after observing Beglarian appear to smoke a drug pipe while in his car, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

Responding officers found Beglarian walking away from his vehicle. He was not in a police uniform and not on duty at the time of the incident. Officers searching his vehicle found drug paraphernalia, according to Hoyal.

The officer was cited and released and not booked into jail. About 4 p.m. Friday, he resigned from the force.

"Unfortunately, we didn't see any signs or indications of (drug use)," Carpenter said. "For us, it was a huge shock."

Carpenter said there were never any red flags or signs that Beglarian had a potential drug problem. He had been with the Draper Police Department for five years, spending the last three as a K-9 officer. Before that, he spent a short time with the Utah Department of Corrections, Carpenter said.

Draper does have a policy for random drug testing. Carpenter said information on whether Beglarian was ever randomly selected for drug testing or when his last drug test might have been, is private.

"We understand that the actions of this officer leave a black eye on the law enforcement community. The actions of this officer don't reflect our department and how our department operates," Carpenter said. "He was a good officer. It's unfortunate he allowed something like this to happen."

Beglarian's K-9 was named Yasso. Yasso was near retirement age already, Carpenter said. He was being held in a kennel Tuesday until the department could decide what to do with him.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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