Pinellas Deputy Accused of Pawning Duty Gun, Grand Theft
The deputy has been fired, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
PINELLAS COUNTY – A deputy is charged with drug possession and grand theft after his former girlfriend turned him in, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Steven Jared Smith, 32, was charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and two felony counts of grand theft. He was also fired from his job with the sheriff’s office. He was hired Oct. 12, 2012, deputies said.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that, about a week ago, Smith’s former girlfriend provided detectives with information that he had stolen a bottle of prescription pills from a dead woman. The girlfriend also provided a photo of a bottle with pills, she found in their bedroom and gave detectives the name on the pill bottle.
Deputies said they found that, while working at the front desk of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office North District Station in Dunedin on Sept. 24, Smith received numerous bottles of unused prescription medication for disposal from family members of a woman who had recently passed away. The woman’s name matched the name on the pill bottle found by Smith’s girlfriend.
Video footage from cameras in the station showed Smith leaving with an empty paper bag, which was left over from his evening meal, and then putting the paper bag in the back of his Sheriff’s Office cruiser.
Smith was questioned Wednesday (Oct. 12) about the pills. Deputies said he denied stealing the pills, but admitted he had a drug problem and said he does not take the pain killers, prescribed by his doctor, as directed.
During the process of collecting sheriff’s office property from Smith, one of his duty guns was found to be missing. Deputies said he admitted pawning the Glock 30, .45 caliber firearm on Sept. 19 at Silver Dollar Pawn, 5607 State Road 54 in New Port Richey. According to detectives, he received $250 in exchange for the firearm, which is valued at $450.
Smith’s employment with the sheriff’s office was terminated and he was arrested Wednesday (Oct. 12).
“This is an addiction problem, but law enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs here in Pinellas County are going to be held to the same standards as anybody else,” Gualtieri said. “He needs
to face the consequences for his actions and we hope that he gets the help that he needs.”
For information about the Pinellas sheriff, go to pcsoweb.com.
Photos courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
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