A Campbell County Circuit Court judge sentenced a 36-year-old former police officer to a two-year suspended jail term and probation for six years. The court's grand larceny sentencing for the Nathalie man comes four months after the wallet was turned into the police station.
The ex-Brookneal officer was found guilty of taking the contents of a wallet found in a police undercover operation. Court reports say the former sergeant was working at the Brookneal Police Station in April of last year when a wallet was turned in by a special agent of the Virginia State Police.
When the item was turned in, the contents included several hundred dollars in cash and five lottery tickets.
Days later, a detective who had a lost wallet report matching the description of the one turned in earlier, was given the item by the sergeant. The wallet was missing a few of its originally reported contents - the lottery tickets and more than $540.
An assistant attorney for the commonwealth said the former officer had violated the public's trust and was only sorry that he had been caught and for losing his job on the Brookneal police force. The lawyer pressed the sentencing judge for a maximum punishment. The former officer's attorney said his client did attempt to make restitution on the same day the wallet was reclaimed.
He added that the former officer was working to redirect his life. Since losing his job, he'd been in driver training to become a truck driver and was anxious for a fresh start to his career so he would be able to support his three children.
Source: Brookneal Union Star, "Judge sentences former Brookneal police officer," Tina Barbour/Altavista Journal, 12 July 2011