Ex-police officer sentenced in theft | CraigDailyPress.com

Ex-police officer sentenced in theft

Brabo receives 1-year deferred sentence

Collin Smith

Former Craig Police Officer Bob Brabo was sentenced Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to stealing about $500 in drug buy money from the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force.

Brabo was assigned to ACET when he committed the theft.

He pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor theft and was sentenced to serve 48 hours community service and pay $484.50 in fines.

Brabo also received a one-year deferred sentence.

Although he entered into a plea agreement with the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Brabo pleaded to the same crime he originally was charged with and did not receive a reduced charge.

Brabo is the second Craig police officer to face criminal charges in the past three months.

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Former detective and ACET member Ken Johnson was arrested in September and charged Oct. 2 with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony; as well as accessory to crime and embezzlement of public property, both Class 5 felonies.

Johnson's embezzlement charge stems from evidence that he gave Craig resident Tausha Merwin a laptop owned by law enforcement. Johnson and Merwin are suspected of being engaged in a sexual relationship.

Deputy District Attorney Jeremy Snow said Brabo was not charged with embezzlement like Johnson because the facts surrounding the two cases are different.

Snow said Brabo was treated the same as other first-time offenders who steal $500 to $1,000 from their employer.

He did not receive special treatment or punishment because of his former position with the Craig Police Department, Snow added.

"Mr. Brabo had previously made full restitution to the victim, had no prior criminal history and fully cooperated with the investigation in this matter," Snow wrote in a written statement. "After considering these and the other facts and circumstances in this case, the District Attorney's Office filed misdemeanor theft charges and entered into a plea consistent with how similar cases in the community have been handled."

Brabo was appointed to ACET in March to replace Johnson on the task force.

Johnson's next court appearance is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday in Moffat County District Court.

Merwin, the woman Johnson is suspected of having an affair with while he was with the police department, also has been charged in the case with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony.

She is scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 19 in district court.

Man convicted of sex crime leaves area

A man who registered as a sexually violent predator with local law enforcement in November is no longer a Moffat County resident.

Ronald Eugene Noel, 48, was convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a child in Oregon in 2000. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison before his arrival in Craig.

When a sexually violent predator is released in a community, he or she is required to register with local law enforcement and re-register every 90 days.

Law enforcement officials are required to alert the public of registered sexually violent predators through community bulletins.

Noel was recently arrested again in Forsyth, Mont., on charges of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia, according to the Moffat County Sheriff's Office.

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