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California

Kern County sheriff’s deputy arrested after probe into allegations he stole money from public

A Kern County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday following a months-long investigation into allegations that he stole money from the public while performing his duties, authorities said.

Edward Bermudez, 31, was taken into custody on suspicion of grand theft and booked into the Central Receiving Facility, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Additional details about the case were not released.

Bermudez, a six-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was placed on leave, officials said.

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He is at least the fourth current or former member of the department to face criminal charges this year, and the second deputy arrested in the last month.

Deputy Lawrence Thatcher, an 11-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was arrested on June 29 on suspicion of spousal battery and false imprisonment, authorities said. He was also placed on leave.

In May, two former deputies, Logan August and Derrick Penney, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and to possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, according to U.S. Atty. Phillip A. Talbert.

Federal authorities said the former deputies conspired to steal marijuana from the Sheriff’s Office storage unit. The marijuana had been seized during criminal investigations.

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They face up to five years in prison and have agreed to forfeit any money they earned from the trafficking operation.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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