Police say inmate stole bond money from CCSO dispatch office

Published 5:01 pm Thursday, May 3, 2018

An inmate at the Carter County Detention Center is facing new charges after police say he stole money from inside the dispatch office at the Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department stated they will be charging inmate Dennis Harvey, 29, of Elizabethton, with theft and tampering with evidence in connection with the incident.

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According to police reports, on March 23, CCSO Dispatcher Brandon Berry took in a $250 cash bond for the release of an inmate at the jail. The bond was to go to Carter County Chancery Court.

“After dispatcher Berry took the bond he sealed it in a bag and dropped it in the bond safe located in the dispatch office,” CCSO Capt. Jeff Markland said. “On Monday, March 26, 2018, C/O Patty Duffield went to retrieve the bond/cash and it could not be located.”

Markland said officers then watched the security video footage for the dispatch office from the time the bond and cash was dropped by Berry on March 23.

The video showed that around 3:30 a.m. on March 24, inmate worker Dennis Harvey entered the dispatch office to clean.

“The bond/cash had apparently not fallen into the safe as it was supposed to because the video clearly shows inmate Harvey take the bond/cash out of the safe and put it in a black trash bag,” Markland said. “Inmate Harvey then takes the bag and exits the dispatch office.”

After reviewing the video footage, Markland said he spoke to Harvey, read him his Miranda rights, and asked him about the incident.

“He denied any involvement at first but when confronted with the video evidence he confessed to taking the bond/cash,” Markland said. “I then asked inmate Harvey what he had done with the money that he took. He advised that he became scared because he had taken the money and just thrown it away in the dumpster.”

“I later learned by talking to other inmates that inmate Harvey had not thrown the money away and had been seen with it,” Markland continued. “I then spoke with inmate Harvey and he admitted to not throwing the money away initially. He stated at that time that after he had spoken with me the first time that he had gotten scared and flushed the money down the toilet in the cell block that he was in.”

Markland said he then informed Harvey that he would be charged with theft and tampering with evidence.

“The Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Dexter Lunceford are liable for the money that was taken,” Markland said. “Sheriff Lunceford has since been ordered by Chancery Court that he is to pay the $250.”