NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

A former New Bern police officer has pleaded guilty to stealing pills from the police department's evidence room.

Frances Sutton, 49, pleaded guilty in New Bern Monday afternoon to three felony counts of stealing evidence and four felony counts of obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to between 12 to 25 months in prison.

According to investigators, Sutton took oxycodone pills from the evidence room of the New Bern Police Department. Chief Toussaint Summers Jr. conducted an internal review and learned of missing evidence in cases in which Ms. Sutton was the charging officer, investigators said.

Chief Summers reported his findings to District Attorney Scott Thomas, who requested the SBI to begin investigating on May 16, 2012.

Sutton voluntarily surrendered to SBI agents on  May 23, 2012.