Fairfield police detective arrested on alleged evidence tampering charges

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — An investigation by the Fairfield police department has led to the arrest of one of its own detectives.

On Friday morning, officers arrested Det. Stephen Rilling, 40, on evidence tampering charges for allegedly removing narcotics from the police station’s evidence room. Det. Rilling is the son of Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.

A joint investigation between the department and the State’s Attorney’s Office began in April and Det. Rilling was subsequently placed on administrative leave. It was determined there was evidence of laws being violated between June 2016 to February 2017.

In response to these alleged crimes, the Fairfield Police Detective Bureau has implemented stricter polices involving handling of evidence.

Fairfield police stated the property officer who granted Det. Rilling access to the evidence believed its removal from the evidence room was being done for law enforcement purposes.

Authorities have stated the property officer was the only one who had direct access to the evidence room, and that all evidence from cases other than those affected by misappropriation has been accounted for.

Fairfield police are working with the State’s Attorney to determine a course of action regarding those cases affected by Det. Rilling’s actions.

Det. Rilling is being charged with Computer Crime in the Third Degree, Larceny in the Second Degree, and Possession of Narcotics among other related charges. He was released after posting a $5,000 court imposed bond.

Mayor Harry Rilling  released the following statement on his son’s arrest:

Like too many other families in Connecticut, my son and our family are facing the effects of the opoid epidemic that is sweeping our state.

In the past few weeks I learned that my son has a substance abuse problem brought on by prescription pain medication. He has accepted responsibility for his situation and is in therapy. We are proud of the way he is facing this problem and will continue to stand by him as he works toward recovery.

We are a family who believes in the power of prayer. With prayer and hard work, Steve will get healthy and will move on with his life. This is a personal matter for our family and I will have no further comment.”