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.