Ryan Michael Humphrey was charged with possession of a controlled substance and theft.
It came to light when a colleague and Humphrey responded to a person who had died at his West Valley home in early June.
According to prosecutors, there were morphine pills on the kitchen countertop.
“Officer (Davon) Halulic noticed that this officer had palmed a handful of pills checking pockets and as he watched him he saw him take those pills and put them into his pocket,” says Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill.
Gill says Humphrey was told to step outside by his colleague and a superior was called in.
According to charging documents Humphrey "produced 22 pills from his pocket (and were) identified as morphine.”
Neighbors of the deceased man say Humphrey threw it all away for what appears to be a drug habit.
steve whatcott, neighbor: “He must have been really desperate to take that kind of chance with your career and with everything else,” says Steve Whatcott who lives next door to the deceased man.
The charge puts another black eye on the West Valley police department.
Several members of the narcotics unit are on leave pending an investigation over their behavior in arresting people.
But the district attorney says police in this case helped restore credibility within in the department.
“What I really want to point out here and commend the actions of Officer Halulic and Sgt. Gray who did their job and did the right thing which couldn't have been an easy thing."