HAWTHORNE, NV - A former Mineral County Sheriff’s Department employee could be facing charges after being accused of stealing an inmate's prescription medication
Sheriff Stewart Handte stated he had been advised of the occurrence on August 2nd. “Upon notification of the incident, I immediately contacted the Nevada Department of Public Safety Investigative Division. They responded quickly and initiated a criminal investigation at my request. The suspect (in this case) accused other Mineral County Sheriff’s Department employees of the theft,” Handte said.
Though the former employee had been terminated on an unrelated incident, all other Mineral County Sheriff’s Department deputies who had been accused have been exonerated of the charges as a result of the DPS investigation.
According to police, the former employee was caught on video committing the crime.
“When I was appointed Sheriff in December of 2013, one of my main goals was to restore trust between the public and the sheriff’s department. That included investigating complaints involving my own department. Those accused of alleged misconduct, or criminal acts, will be investigated swiftly and fully by an independent outside agency if needed should conflicts arise. This incident is a prime example of doing just that,” Handte said. “As a result of this investigation, security measures for the detention facility have been modified to prevent another incident of this nature from taking place again."
The employee has not been identified, and his or her position within the agency is unknown.
The accused faces charges of Burglary, Acts Which Constitute Theft, Possession of a Dangerous Drug Without a Prescription and Unlawful Controlled Substance Possession Not For Purpose of Sale. Fines for these charges could equal up to $35,000 and possible jail time if convicted.