Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Deputy arrested on drug charges



By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE]
Michael Moore
LEBANON - A suspended Warren County sheriff's deputy is accused of cooking methamphetamine in a garage, tampering with sheriff's records and stealing marijuana from the sheriff's evidence room, Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said.

Michael Moore, 33, of Deerfield Township, surrendered Tuesday evening at sheriff's headquarters after a seven-count indictment against him was made public.

"We are going to aggressively go after drug dealers and drug users, no matter who they are - even if they are law enforcement officers," Hutzel said.

Moore is scheduled to appear in court today on the charges. His attorney, Bill Fowler, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Moore faces four felonies: tampering with evidence, theft of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs (methamphetamine) and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.

He also faces misdemeanor charges alleging he possessed marijuana, drug paraphernalia and unspecified "dangerous drugs," according to the indictment.

If convicted, Moore could be sentenced to more than a decade in prison.

Although Moore was on unpaid leave since August after testing positive for marijuana use, a Dec. 31 incident prompted police to search his home for drugs Jan. 8, court records show.

On New Year's Eve, Blue Ash police shut down Interstate 71 for hours after finding an alleged methamphetamine lab in a car's trunk during a traffic stop.

The car's driver later told police he had just delivered 4 grams of meth, a powerful stimulant, to Moore in exchange for $30.

Investigators who searched Moore's home found "marijuana and other evidence which appeared to have been removed from the evidence room at the Warren County Sheriff's Office," Hutzel said. She said the items included "evidence envelopes and evidence reports" relating to drug cases.

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com




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