Matthew Lowry, FBI Agent, Stole Heroin to Get High, Prosecutors Say

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The seal of the F.B.I. hangs in the Flag Room at the bureau's headquaters March 9, 2007 in Washington, DC. F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller was responding to a report by the Justice Department inspector general that concluded the FBI had committed 22 violations in its collection of information through the use of national security letters. The letters, which the audit numbered at 47,000 in 2005, allow the agency to collect information like telephone, banking and e-mail records without a judicially approved subpoena. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

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A Washington, D.C., FBI agent was charged Friday with stealing heroin obtained in undercover investigations and using it to get high.

Matthew Lowry, 33, took bags of heroin out of his agency's evidence storage facility, ingested some of it, then tried to cover it up by adding cutting agents and forging labels, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia said.

He was charged with 64 criminal counts — including obstruction of justice, falsification of records, conversion of property and possession of heroin.

Lowry was a member of his office's Cross-Border Task Force, which conducts large-scale drug investigations. His crimes occurred in 2013 and 2014, when on several occasions he signed out bags of heroin from the evidence facility under false pretenses and kept them in his car, prosecutors said.

Lowry would then dip into the bags and replace the missing amount with the nutrition supplement Creatine or the laxative Purelax before putting remaining drugs into new bags with old or forged labels, prosecutors said.

On some occasions, Lowry also took heroin obtained during undercover purchases, and kept the drugs in his car, periodically ingesting it before logging them into the evidence facility weeks or months later, prosecutors said. Once, he allegedly kept the bag and never turned it in.

The investigation has not identified any criminal conduct by other agents, prosecutors said.

If convicted of the charges, Lowry faces at least 87 months in prison.

— Jon Schuppe

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