Ex-Van Buren deputy accused of stealing on the job
Connor Etzler Wardlaw (Photo from TBI)
SPENCER, TN (WSMV) -
A former Van Buren County deputy is facing charges for allegedly stealing money, cars and drugs.
Connor Etzler Wardlaw, 34, of Sparta, resigned in May of 2013 on the same day the new sheriff, Eddie Carter, took office.
Carter says he immediately found problems, so he contacted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Now, nine months later, comes this indictment against Wardlaw.
The TBI and district attorney general's office said Wardlaw made numerous arrests from June 2011 to May 2013 for drug-related offenses during which he seized drug evidence, money, vehicles and other personal property in accordance with police procedure and Tennessee laws.
Investigators said Wardlaw would then return the seized property to the owners in exchange for a cash donation to the Van Buren County drug fund, but Wardlaw allegedly kept the money for himself.
He is accused of destroying records, stealing stolen drugs and selling them, and even stealing a gun by exchanging a cheap gun for the nicer gun in the property room.
A Van Buren Grand Jury returned indictments for the following charges: theft under $500, theft over $500, theft over $1,000, official misconduct, tampering with evidence, official oppression and destruction of public records.
Wardlaw was booked into the Van Buren County jail Wednesday on $175,000 bond.
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