Winston County, AL – After recording conversations of the sheriff ordering them to steal marijuana, two former deputies have recently filed a lawsuit accusing the sheriff of firing them because they refused to steal drugs from the evidence room. Although the sheriff claims the marijuana was not for personal use, he allegedly harassed his deputies for months ordering them to steal narcotics for him from the evidence room and during drug busts.
On May 19, 2015, Winston County Deputy Zachery Green stepped into Sheriff Hobby Walker’s office and presented him with three ounces of marijuana confiscated on a search warrant from the previous day. Instead of logging it into evidence, Walker allegedly placed the drugs in his desk drawer and thanked Green. The sheriff eventually gave the marijuana back to Green after the deputy explained that he needed the evidence for his narcotics case. After Walker told him that he wanted to obtain marijuana for his terminally ill aunt, Green agreed to steal drugs from a future case.
A month later, Walker reprimanded Green for taking an authorized vacation with his church. After chewing out his deputy and bordering on religious intolerance, Walker ordered him again to illegally acquire marijuana.
On July 2, 2015, Walker asked Deputy Steven Moody to retrieve his GPS from his previous department vehicle. While locating the GPS, Moody also found some 9mm ammunition and a small bag of marijuana. When Moody confronted the sheriff, Walker admitted that the drugs belonged to him and asked Moody to track down more in order to help his sick aunt with her nausea. Moody reluctantly agreed.
After enduring months of the sheriff pressuring them to steal drugs for him, deputies Green and Moody recorded a conversation with Walker on August 19, 2015. While asking them again for drugs, Walker explicitly ordered them to steal some marijuana on their next narcotics bust. Following the meeting, Green and Moody contacted the district attorney’s office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), and state attorney general’s office with copies of their recorded conversation.
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In cooperation with the FBI and ALEA, the deputies confiscated marijuana from a rural field in Winston County and gave it to Walker on September 23, 2015. Unbeknownst to the sheriff, state and federal law enforcement agencies recorded video of Green and Moody handing the stolen drugs to Walker.
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Instead of asking Green and Moody to continue stealing drugs for him, Walker suddenly fired them on November 30, 2015. Although law enforcement agencies obtained video of Walker stealing marijuana from evidence, recorded conversations of the sheriff ordering his deputies to steal drugs, and testimony from at least two deputies, no criminal charges have been filed against Walker.
Earlier this month, Green and Moody filed a lawsuit against the sheriff and the county for wrongful termination. Outraged that no charges have been filed against the sheriff, their attorney Jay Stover told AL.com that something is “not right.”
“In Alabama, it's called distribution, on top of tampering with evidence,” Stover asserted.
In Sandusky County, Ohio, six police chiefs publicly accused their local sheriff of stealing drugs from their departments under false pretenses earlier this month. Although Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer allegedly stole drugs and threatened Gibsonburg Mayor Steve Fought two weeks ago at a Republican Party function, no criminal charges have been filed against the sheriff.
Andrew Emett is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew's work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, Activist Post, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.