Deputy in Florida Keys accused of stealing lobsters

A Florida deputy is accused of stealing lobsters from a boat he pulled over last year, authorities said.

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Detective Sgt. Scott Ward of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was charged with misdemeanor theft, the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release that was posted on the organization’s Facebook page. He has not been arrested.

An internal investigation revealed that Ward, who has been with the sheriff’s office since 2007, stole six spiny lobsters from the boat, the Miami Herald reported. He was ordered to appear in court to answer the charge, the newspaper reported. He will appear before a judge on Aug. 18.

“I am disappointed to have to announce this case, but the public will always hear the good news and the bad news from me first,” Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement.

Ward could not be reached for comment, the Herald reported. Sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt would not say when the incident happened, the newspaper reported. He also would not comment on whether the alleged theft occurred during the two-day spiny lobster miniseason that is held on the final Wednesday and Thursday every year.

Ward remains employed by the sheriff’s office and has not been suspended, Linhardt told the Herald.

“Not at this time, as that decision will be made at the conclusion of the Internal Affairs investigation,” Linhardt told the newspaper.

“Any future action is pending the resolution of the criminal case and the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs investigation,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

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