Thousands in Cash Missing From Sweetwater Police Evidence Room: Reports

Federal authorities are investigating after thousands of dollars were reported missing from a Sweetwater Police evidence room.

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013  |  Updated 2:50 PM EDT
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Thousands of dollars in cash have gone missing from a Sweetwater police evidence room, as well as payments made to recover towed vehicles following arrests, reported The Miami Herald.

Sweetwater Mayor Jose M. Diaz made the statement at a Tuesday night press conference to announce a new bicycle police patrol, the newspaper reported.

Federal authorities are investigating the missing money, according to the Herald.

This is not the first federal investigation to hit the city. Suspended Mayor Manuel Marono and lobbyist Jorge Forte, his onetime chief of staff, were charged with public corruption. The two were arrested in August as the result of an undercover FBI operation that revealed they were pocketing thousands of dollars in kickbacks while seeking federal grants, authorities said.

They pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit honest services fraud in federal court on Oct. 18. According to the Herald, Marono and Forte plan to change the plea to guilty at a later date as part of a plea deal.

Marono faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

A Sweetwater Police detective was also arrested on federal charges of credit card fraud and identity theft later in August, according to authorities. Two other officers and one civilian employee were suspended for unknown reasons in September, city officials said.

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