UPDATED: Feds say former deputy stole thousands in cash, jewelry during drug busts

Indictment says he "repeatedly abused his authority" at Franklin County Sheriff's Office

State Journal staff report, Published:

Former deputy Matt Brown pleaded not guilty in federal court in Lexington Monday to charges that he stole from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office while he was employed there. He also pleaded not guilty to selling anabolic steroids in multiple counties.

According to the indictment, Brown “repeatedly abused his authority for his own benefit. Throughout his tenure, Brown unlawfully used public funds and property under the care and custody of the (sheriff’s office) to obtain goods and services for himself and his family.”

The indictment identifies more than $26,000 in cash and goods stolen during Brown’s time at the sheriff’s office — most of it during drug busts.

The indictment against Brown, who was arrested Friday by the FBI, was unsealed Monday.

He’s charged with theft from a program that receives federal funds — the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office — by misappropriation of narcotics funds and seized property during his time as a narcotics detective.

He’s also charged with three counts of trafficking in anabolic steroids in Franklin, Fayette and Jessamine counties.

According to the indictment, Brown:

νUsed $1,564 of narcotics funds to pay his personal bills and spent $301.12 of sheriff’s office funds to buy target stands and related accessories from a law enforcement vendor for his personal business.

νWhile executing a search warrant, seized a diamond ring worth $11,749.99 and a watch worth $2,970 from the residence of someone identified as M.C.

Rather than log the items, the indictment said Brown kept them, and four days later sold the ring back to the man he stole it from for $800 and kept the money.

νWhile executing a search warrant at the residence of someone identified as M.J., seized narcotics, firearms and approximately $32,000 in cash. Brown logged most of the items but kept $14,000 of the cash, according to the indictment.

νWhile executing a search warrant at the residence of someone identified as K.H., seized a cell phone and $120 cash from another individual, identified as M.K.

The indictment said Brown returned the phone the next day, but kept the money.

νWhile executing a search warrant at the residence of someone identified as W.J., seized prescription narcotics, approximately $15,000 in cash and $300 in gift cards from Walmart and Lowes.

The indictment said Brown kept approximately $5,098 of the cash.

νAfter identifying himself as someone working security at an apartment complex, entered the residence of someone identified as R.M. and seized scales, approximately $100 in cash and $1,600 in prepaid Visa gift cards.

The indictment said Brown did not log any of those items.

If convicted, the indictment said the federal government could seek approximately $35,940.99 from Brown “representing the gross receipts obtained” from the violations.

A trial date was set for May 13 in Frankfort.

Brown was released Monday night from the Fayette County Detention Center. He will be given an ankle monitor in a few days when one becomes available.

His release requires him to remain at home unless he receives prior approval for certain reasons, including going to work, meeting with his attorney, going to church or running necessary personal errands.

He also must surrender his weapons and get prior approval for any financial transactions in excess of $5,000.

His attorney asked for 24 hours to comply with the conditions.

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  • Why was one of Charles Monroes murderers out of jail this quick. Didn't he take a plea. Jails to full of none violent marijuana smokers I guess.

  • I would have thought that some of the legal eagles who seem to have all the inside information would have filled in the M.J. and W.J. and K.L. and R.M. for us lesser informed individuals.

     

  • john_doe "He was released and 'will be given an ankle monitor in a few days when one becomes available" Anybody else would have to wait to get released but I find it awful hard to believe that one wasn't availiable. Also the stipulation of not making financial transactions over $5,000.00 without permission. What gives?

    Hugh Heckler, there is a lot to your comment.

    Legion, I know, you know, but I would like for everybody to know. Why weren't charges brought against the buyers of the steroids? Hello state journal

  • He was released and 'will be given an ankle monitor in a few days when one becomes available' ??????

    WTH?  Does Barney Fife run the ankle monitor supply cabinet?  And this 'alleged' criminal gets to just go 'free' until Barney finds his bulle...er... ankle monitor?

    Only in KY!

  • Bodeen: "Who was he selling steroids to?"

    I don't know exactly, but obviously other cops (and firemen?) at the gyms...really, the proof should be in the puddin'...just look at them?  Everyone at the 24-7 gym in Frankfort knows who is on the juice and who isn't.  The cops all work out together in groups, not fraternizing with the civilians unless they are attractive females, then they are hitting on them. Therefore, Brown's most likely clientel would be in those groups of LEO's apparently in 3 counties.

     

    pitch: "Legion. You don't think or I would hate to think that Brown had something to do with the death of Monroe? That would be like a sick plot in a movie or TV show, get your CI kiiled cause they know something damming, or know too much."

    Judging from what has happened to CI's in similar cases around the country, I don't think that they intended for Charles Monroe to be killed during the sting, but they really didn't care enough to take the necessary steps to prevent the murder...CI's are The Throwaways in these cases.  They are considered expendable.  You could bet your butt that if that had been Brown in the car that night in Walmart's parking lot, that he would have had plenty of backup right next door with live mics and a signal word when things started going sour.  

    I also do not believe that Charles Monroe was a drug dealer at all except for the Sheriff's Office...and therefore, he would not be n any position to know too much about Brown of the Sheriff.  There is not published record that I could find where Monroe had ever been arrested for drugs, but rather for a child molestation charge that his sister said was just the vengeful actions of a scorned girlfriend regarding her daughter. The Monroe murder case would ALREADY be a "sick plot in a movie or TV show." Not too many stranger things have happened around here...but this is certainly not unique elsewhere.

    In a piece “The Throwaways” in The New Yorker, Sarah Stillman tells the stories of several young offenders including Rachel Hoffman who were killed while or after working as confidential police informants. It is her contention “that in fact in their eagerness to get drug busts, the police do not pay anywhere near enough attention to the safety of their informants, and to some degree, in some cases, their attitudes may be pretty cavalier.” They are considered expendable.

    One of these was a 16-year-old young man, LeBron Gaither in Kentucky, who agreed to participate as an informant after he'd punched his teacher in the jaw and had wound up facing a juvenile assault charge. So in a deal to work off his charge he agreed to be a CI. He started doing drug cases and after setting up a local dealer, Jason Noel, he actually testified in a rather public court and then the very next day was sent out to buy more drugs from Noel whom he'd just testified against. Shortly after the sting began, detectives lost track of Gaither when Noel, who had learned of the teen’s testimony from a grand juror, drove off with him. Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods.

  • What makes me lmao ukfan is this idiot stole form a person then texted that person and told them he had the stuff. I've heard of some sumb, but this guys plumb dumb...Did he actaully think that nothing would happen to him because of a badge?

    Legion. You don't think or I would hate to think that Brown had something to do with the death of Monroe? That would be like a sick plot in a movie or TV show, get your CI kiiled cause they know something damming, or know too much. But stranger things have happened here in Sleepy Hollow...

  • I agree with pitch...he didn't just start stealing once he became a deputy. It was just a lot easier and more available.

  • They are not going to ask for jail time just a restitution of funds????? WTH !!

  • WTH did this guy not ever get caught with his hands in things before he joined the FCSO?  You gotta think he has been doing stunts like this for a while, this is something you don't just wake up one morning and say "hey, wonder if I can take things and no one notices"?

  • Brown eyes, very close together.....Prominent brow ridge. He should get a geneticist or evolutionary biologist on his defense team.

    "Neandertal Man didn't know he was doing bad."

  • Well legion I guess that this makes the state police investigation moot. They weren't gonna do anything anyhow but let it drag on into never happen land. One of the reasons that the feds got involved and the state police took a blackeye over Melton. At least some of our lowly citizens spoke but they won't be the ones getting any of their money back that was stolen which is a very small amount compared to what all he did steal from dealers and addicts around here. The state journal will most likely delete these comments also but I would hope they would at least do a little investigations themselves to determine who at the state police was in charge of this long drag out fruitless investigation that went nowheres and forced the feds to do it for them. I already know and I know the connections but lets see the state journal publish it. Who was he selling steroids to? Why isn't his funds confiscated until it can be determined if it is dirty or not, what about all the stolen firearms that he traded for being quiet?  Last but not least, who was helping and who all knew. I hope the citizens know that very little people spoke up and his corruption was spreaded across more counties than mentioned and his takings were tensfolds more. At least he is getting the attention that he deserves and the blame can be justified.

  • What was Matt Brown's involvement in the drug sting gone bad murder of the apparent CI, Charles Monroe?  Within the confines of Sheriff Melton's Office there seems to be this whole dual/parallel legal system in place, where if you are a civilian citizen (not working in law enforcement) and you commit a crime, then the details of your offense is blasted out to the media set on the widest possible dispersion. Just check out the front pages of this newspaper and the Sheriff's Facebook page!  While if you are an LEO who commits a crime, then only the most rudimentary information is reluctantly released which does not even include your name!  There has been a whole heck of a lot of "no comments" coming out of that office ever since he arrived.  Why not comment?  Is he hiding something?  According to this UPDATE, he was hiding quite a lot.

    Like when the Sheriff announced back in 2012 that money from the "drug investigation funds" was "unaccounted for" (read: stolen), and then he speaks in special guarded language and doesn't even release the name of the accused or how much was stolen. Then Melton asked the KSP to open an investigation. And then radio silence. "Melton declined to comment on the case again Friday."  Well, the FBI isn't declining to comment.  

    Now we have this former Sheriff's narcotics detective, Matt Brown, who "resigned" about that same time as the money was "unaccounted for" (read: stolen) and then mysteriously "returned", who has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (NOT KSP who still has an open investigation) on a "federal charge".  Wow, welcome to the major leagues, Mr. Brown!  

    What does the FBI investigate?  Apparently, serious offenses like Brown “repeatedly abused his authority for his own benefit. 

    According to its web site its number one priority is "Pulbic Corruption - Government Fraud".

    "It’s our top priority among criminal investigations—and for good reason.

    Public corruption poses a fundamental threat to our national security and way of life. It impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected…to verdicts handed down in courts…to the quality of our roads, schools, and other government services. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, wasting billions in tax dollars every year.

    Public corruption is a breach of trust by federal, state, or local officials—often with the help of private sector accomplices. It’s also the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority. To explain why the Bureau takes public corruption so seriously and how we investigate, we talked with Special Agent Patrick Bohrer, assistant section chief of our Public Corruption/Civil Rights program at FBI Headquarters.

    Question: Why is public corruption so high on the FBI’s list of investigative priorities? 
    Answer: Because of its impact. Corrupt public officials undermine our country’s national security, our overall safety, the public trust, and confidence in the U.S. government, wasting billions of dollars along the way. This corruption can tarnish virtually every aspect of society."

    These specific alledged crimes that the Sheriff's narcotics detective, Matt Brown, was arrest on were committed while he was gainfully employed at and under the supervision of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and his official narcotics detective duties and activities therein.  The Sheriff's Office is a very small intimate group and Pat Melton is a very hands on "law enforcement Sheriff", so is it realistic to think that he knew nothing about this illegal activity that Matt Brown was involved in?  

    We shall see (maybe)...will Brown cop a plea and roll over on anyone else to save his own skin?  Maybe they can coerce him into becoming a CI and making drug stings on the federal level...