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St. Louis officer charged after police raid finds guns, heroin

St. Louis officer charged after police raid finds guns, heroin


UPDATED at 4 p.m. Thursday with comments from officer's attorney.

ST. LOUIS • A seven-year veteran of the St. Louis police department was charged Wednesday with gun and heroin crimes after a raid on a home where authorities say she was staying.

Officer Natalie Williams, 34, was charged with two felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of felony distribution/manufacture of drugs.

Police said the FBI and city police department seized guns, heroin and cash about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday from a single-family home in the 4500 block of Page Boulevard. Court records say Williams was the target of the investigation and was at the home when police and federal agents came to search the house.

Authorities found a .40-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun in Williams’ bedroom, according to court documents. They seized what police believe was heroin in her closet, according to a probable cause statement. They also found more than $10,000 in cash and a bag holding a digital scale, a coffee grinder with suspected heroin residue, several empty capsules, a cutting agent and a box of plastic sandwich bags, according to the records. Those items are used to package heroin for distribution, according to authorities.

Williams was arrested. Her bail was set at $30,000 cash.

Her attorney, Nick Zotos, declined to comment on the specifics of her arrest until after a search warrant affidavit — which would detail what police were looking for — becomes an open record in court. He said he has seen the police department's press release.

"Press releases are one thing; affadavits are another," Zotos said.

Zotos said there could be more to this story than the police department's official line.

"I don't mean to be coy, but there's a lot of backstory that won't come out until later," he said.

Though the guns, suspected drugs and other items were found in a room described as Williams’ bedroom, court documents also give a home address in the 4000 block of Union Boulevard for Williams.

She had previously been suspended without pay from the department for “conduct unbecoming of a police officer.” Police did not give the reason for that suspension, in February, but said it triggered an Internal Affairs investigation of Williams.

“What you saw is how we respond to these types of incidents,” Police Chief Sam Dotson said. “When an officer’s conduct is immoral, illegal and unethical, she’s suspended and put in jail. When we uncover things like this, this is how we act.”

Williams has been assigned to the Domestic Abuse Response Team and had served the department since Oct. 25, 2007.

Williams is listed on the Ethical Society of Police group’s website as its recording secretary. The organization represents some black St. Louis police officers.

Robert Patrick, Christine Byers and Jack Suntrup of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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