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Former FBI agent pleads guilty to taking drugs from evidence bags

WASHINGTON  —  A former FBI agent who worked on large scale drug investigations in the D.C. area has pleaded guilty to 64 counts including possession of heroin and obstruction of justice.  Later, outside the federal courthouse,  he apologized and warned against the dangers of addiction from prescription pain medication.

Matthew Lowry, 33,  has admitted to removing and ingesting heroin from evidence bags; replacing it with other substances and falsifying records in an attempt to cover his tracks.

“I just want to apologize and say that I was wrong for my actions,” Lowry said, outside U.S. District Court,  with his lawyer at his side.

Lowry says that his criminal acts were committed while he was trying to cope with an addiction to prescription pain medication.

“Prescription opiate addiction has no boundaries,” Lowry says.  His lawyer, Robert Bonsib, told a federal judge at the plea hearing that Lowry’s addiction grew from the use of prescription medications used to treat a painful condition in his digestive system.

“Hopefully from this situation I’ll be able to set an example on how not to deal with prescription pain medication abuse and be able to help people understand how powerful and addictive this can be,” Lowry says.

Among Lowry’s criminal offenses are removing official sticker seals from evidence bags and, after taking drugs for his use, applying new official seals to the evidence bag.

Federal prosecutors say charges were dismissed against dozens of drug suspects because of Lowry’s misconduct and at least five major drug investigations were spoiled.

He’s pleaded guilty to 38 counts of obstruction of justice, 13 counts of conversion of property and 13 counts of possession of heroin.

Lowry faces a maximum 51 year prison sentence when he’s sentenced June 29.

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