Former Georgia sheriff’s deputy charged with stealing cash

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JEFFERSONVILLE — A former sheriff’s deputy in middle Georgia has been charged with stealing more than $1,500 in cash that was being held as evidence in a criminal case.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it arrested William “Chip” Samuel Stokes, 51, on Tuesday, charging him with theft and violating his oath of office. Stokes was a major in the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office until he was fired Monday.

Investigators say Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum asked them Jan. 15 to look into the missing cash.

Deputies had seized the money as part of a Dec. 17 traffic stop, counting it on video, packaging it and storing it in the evidence room. Investigators say Mitchum learned Jan. 11 that money was missing. Workers couldn’t find the money despite audits and searches of the evidence room.

GBI didn’t say how it determined Stokes took the money. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer representing him.

“It was a shock, to say the least,” Mitchum told WMAZ-TV. “I’ve known Major Stokes for a very long time — actually shocking to know this happened, but the law is the same for everybody no matter what your position in life may be.”

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