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A former RCMP commander in Merritt has pleaded guilty to breach of trust in the theft of some cocaine from an evidence locker in the detachment.

The plea was entered on behalf of Stuart Seib in a Kelowna court on Tuesday, a spokesman for the criminal justice branch confirmed.

Neil MacKenzie said in an interview that the matter has been put over to April 9 in Kelowna for the sentencing of the former RCMP staff sergeant.

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He declined to comment further, noting the Crown attorney will make submissions on a sentencing position at the hearing in April.

Mr. MacKenzie noted that Mr. Seib was also charged with theft, but the Crown has decided not to proceed with that charge pending the resolution of the breach-of-trust matter.

Mr. Seib had been a Mountie for about 18 years when he was arrested a year ago in connection with the theft of the cocaine. A team of senior officers conducted an intensive investigation after police became aware of allegations against the officer.

All exhibits under Mr. Seib's control were audited.

At the time, Mr. Seib was suspended. He later quit.

Chief Superintendent Mike Sekela described the situation in January, 2012, as "very concerning," and "extremely troubling.

"These actions do not meet my expectations or those of the public."

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However, he said, Mr. Seib's actions were not representative of the "high moral and ethical standards of of the vast majority of the members of the RCMP."

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