JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A former deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department has been arrested and charged with embezzlement for allegedly pawning more than $10,000 worth of equipment belonging to the sheriff's department.
Sheriff Mike Ezell said 55-year-old Alexander Herman Kieper, Jr., of Biloxi, had been with the department for 18 years before resigning in September 2011.
Ezell said Dad's Super Pawn in Gulfport contacted his department on June 26, 2015 to report suspicious equipment had been pawned there.
Investigators determined the sheriff's department had purchased the equipment, which included two spotting scopes, two lenses for the scopes and two tripods, in 2009. That's when Ezell asked the FBI to help with the investigation.
Kieper is accused of pawning the equipment at the Gulfport store on June 10, 2015.
Ezell said the scopes, lenses and tripods were purchased with money from a Homeland Security Grant awarded to the department in 2006.
According to the sheriff, the equipment was assigned to Kieper when he worked at the department and was never placed on inventory.
If convicted of embezzlement, Kieper faces up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Ezell said his department is reviewing inventory control procedures to make sure all purchased equipment is accounted for.