MARIETTA — Former Love County Undersheriff Jason Bone has found himself on the other side of the law facing and multiple counts of embezzlement.
District Attorney Jason Hicks said has filed four counts of embezzlement against Bone in Love County District Court. Bone made an initial appearance before Associate District Judge Charles Roberts Friday. Hicks said he requested bond be set at $10,000. However, Bone was released on a personal recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing conference is set for May.
Hicks told The Ardmoreite, the charges are based on an OSBI investigation into money missing from a safe, located in the Love County Sheriff’s Department. The District 6 DA said $73,000 seized from an Interstate 35 drug investigation had been placed in the safe. Bone is charged with removing between $23,000 and $20,000 of the seized funds for his own use.
Hicks was assigned the case in March, after District Attorney Craig Ladd recused himself and his office. Ladd told The Ardmoreite March 8 he asked the case be reassigned after reviewing the report of the OSBI’s investigation into allegations of the missing funds.
“The report indicated that in late 2012, an employee of the Love County Sheriff’s Office misappropriated a sum of cash which had been seized in the summer of 2012, during a traffic stop in Love County. The money was seized because of its suspected link to drug trafficking. Following the seizure of said money and prior to its misappropriation, the money was kept in a safe at the Love County Sheriff’s Department,” Ladd said. “Myself and District 20 employee, Love County Assistant District Attorney Tim Burson, serve as legal advisors to the Love County Sheriff. Furthermore, both myself and Mr. Burson have worked closely with the suspect in this matter on various cases. In addition, the entities which would have been most affected by a misappropriation of the money in question is the Love County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Offices of District 20. Because of these reasons and in an effort to avoid the appearance of any impropriety in regards to filing decisions or the manner in which the case will be prosecuted, I requested the Attorney General to assign a different district attorney to review this matter and then take the appropriate action.”
Bone reportedly resigned his position as undersheriff a month earlier.
Hicks said Saturday Judge Roberts has also recused himself from the case, adding “the judiciary” has been asked to assign another judge to oversee the proceedings.
Hicks serves District 6, which includes Stephens, Caddo, Grady and Jefferson counties.
Editor’s Note: Staff Writer Michael Pineda contributed to this report.