Sheriff’s Office worker charged with stealing evidence

Gina Halladay | Lehi Free Press

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A Lehi man and employee with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Unit will be criminally charged for stealing drugs stored as evidence. A fellow employee noted drugs were missing from a drug disposal barrel and reported this information to the Evidence Supervisor, according to Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer in the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

After a review of surveillance footage, charges are expected to be filed against Brian William Smith, 38 of Lehi in the next few days. Pending charges include three class A misdemeanor counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and three class B misdemeanor counts of theft. Smith resigned his position with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office February 28, 2019.

Brian William Smith, 38, of Lehi will be criminally charged with illegally taking drugs being stored as evidence. Smith had been an employee with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office working a Forensic Technician. | Courtesy of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith was hired as a corrections officer at Utah County Jail in 2008 and was transferred to the forensic unit in 2015.  He had no previous disciplinary issues during his time with the sheriff’s office, according to Cannon.

“We have no evidence that he was doing anything but using the drugs himself. No evidence to suggest he was selling them,” said Cannon.

All evidence received a full audit. There were 17 identified cases where Smith accessed evidence scheduled for destruction without following proper procedures. Of the 17 cases, 12 were determined to be missing evidence identified as prescription drugs. Eight of the 12 have fully completed the legal process in courts, three have a finding or plea of guilty and are awaiting sentencing, and one case has yet to be filed by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, according to Cannon. The internal investigation was conducted by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and a criminal investigation was conducted by the Spanish Fork Police Department. Following the investigation, it was determined that of the 34,000 total pieces of property being held in the evidence facility, all have been accounted for except of these 12 cases, said Cannon.

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