A former L.A. County sheriff's narcotics sergeant has been charged with grand theft and embezzlement by a public official for allegedly stealing about $4,000 during a sting by his own department.
Bonnie Theodore Bryant III, 57, allegedly took the money during a July 25, 2012, sting operation conducted by the criminal internal affairs unit of his own department.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the 28-year department veteran was targeted in the sting. Increasingly, law enforcement agencies across the country test the integrity of their deputies and officers, especially in cases where prior accusations have been made.
Bryant is charged with one felony count each of grand theft of personal property and embezzlement by a public or private officer, said Dep. Dist. Atty. Jason Lustig. Bryant also faces a misdemeanor count of petty theft.
Bryant also allegedly stole money seized during a narcotics sting on May 15, 2012. The alleged theft, which occurred in the parking lot of a hardware store, was observed by a security guard through an external security video camera.
The guard allegedly observed Bryant place a large amount of money into a canvas bag in the trunk of his vehicle. The guard reported the alleged incident to the sheriff's department on July 5, 2012. The report triggered the sting operation.
Bryant was a narcotics task force supervisor at the times he allegedly took the money. The veteran sergeant resigned from the sheriff’s department in December 2012, the prosecutor said.
The sergeant is due in court Monday. Bryant faces up to four years and six months in state prison if convicted of all the charges.
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