Kings County Deputy arrested in sting operation

KINGS COUNTY, Calif.

None of Nick Simpson's family members or friends wanted to talk to Action News when we stopped by his Armona home. One neighbor did tell us off-camera that she's shocked by the allegations against the young deputy.

Simpson, 33, resigned as a Kings County Sheriff's Deputy, after the sheriff says he stole $500 from a supposed suspicious vehicle last Thursday night.

Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson says inside the car was an ounce of methamphetamine and $1760 in cash. At the end of Deputy Simpson's shift, he had only booked $1260 in cash into evidence, a difference of $500 dollars.

Sheriff Robinson said, "What Deputy Simpson did not know is that it was a bait car and the car was wired with video surveillance."

In cooperation with the Department of Justice and the Kings County District Attorney's Office, the Kings County Sheriff's Office conducted the sting on Simpson after receiving a complaint from a citizen concerned that the deputy had been stealing money on the job.

After investigators say Simpson reported $500 less than what was planted in the car, he was arrested when he showed up to work the next evening. Authorities performed a search warrant of his house and found the $500 with matching serial numbers hidden in his Armona home.

Sheriff Robinson said, "The money that was taken was obviously money we had planted in the vehicle and so we had all the serial numbers and had it photocopied etc. and etc."

Larry Crouch said, "He's facing embezzlement by a public official of public funds and misdemeanor embezzlement count."

Sheriff Robinson says they're treating Simpson just as they would any other suspect and are taking the case seriously.

"Law enforcement has the duty to uphold the law regardless of who the suspect is," said Sheriff Robinson. "It's troubling I mean it really hits home when it's someone within your own agency."

Simpson faces up to three years in prison. He had been with the department since 2006 and the sheriff says they are now looking into any past cases Simpson handled to make sure there are no other discrepancies in any monetary evidence. He'll be back in court later this week for a bail review hearing.

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