Guns, Money Missing From Wetzel County Sheriff's Department - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Guns, Money Missing From Wetzel County Sheriff's Department

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There's $485 missing from the Wetzel County Sheriff's Department's evidence room.

They've searched, and it's gone.

Even worse, that money was evidence in a case of a man allegedly selling drugs near a school.

Without the evidence, they can't take that man to trial.

"That missing evidence is fatal to that case, and the case had to be dismissed," says Timothy Haught, Wetzel County prosecutor.

Then there are the guns.

Assault rifles, a sub-machine gun, all were floating around unaccounted for.

Nobody knew who had what.

"I don't want a weapon that's owned by the sheriff's department to show up at a crime scene someday," Haught said. "It's a liability to the county. It's not professional."

After a strongly-worded letter from the prosecutor, deputies past and present came forward and turned in the guns they'd been given over the years.

They say there's still one missing, an AR-15 Bushmaster semi-automatic.

It wasn't necessarily stolen; it just hasn't turned up.

There's one that did turn up, at a local pawn shop.

A nine millimeter pistol was pawned, apparently by a former deputy.

The prosecutor says that's beyond sloppy record-keeping; it is selling county property for personal gain.

And something else turned up also--bill collectors.

Prosecutor Haught says the sheriff's department owed bills to vendors for things like uniforms and gasoline, for years left unpaid.

He says $2600 that the former sheriff requested for drug investigations is unaccounted for.

There are no records, no clues.

The interim sheriff and prosecutor are trying to make sense of it.

They've called in the state police to investigate the missing evidence money and the pawned pistol.

The rest, they believe, may have simply been the results of a laid back management style and no record keeping.

"Well certainly it's important for office holders to keep good records, to keep inventory of items, particularly if they are firearms," said Haught.