Leon County authorities have arrested one of their own after he allegedly burglarized a Madison County property.
For Leon County Sheriff Mike Price, arresting a valued member of his team was no easy task.
"We're talking about a peron's career here," Price said. "There's a lot of emotion involved on both sides."
Deputy Casey Moreland was arrested Wednesday night, charged with burglary of a building, a state-jail felony. He was released on a $2,500 bond.
The 37-year-old is accused of travelling to North Zulch back in April. A neighbor noticed Moreland near a home during the day. When confronted, he reportedly identified himself by name and occupation, and said he was looking for the cat of the former resident of that home. He pointed the cat out to the neighbor, according to the sheriff's office, but then left the scene without the cat.
That night, the same neighbor again spotted Moreland's vehicle at the location. The property owner later found $3,500 worth of tools missing from his storage building. After he conducted what sheriff's officials deemed a personal investigation, the property owner eventually came to Leon County authorities last Thursday. After an internal investigation, they contacted Sheriff Dan Douget in Madison County, and after their own investigation, Madison County issued a warrant for Moreland's arrest.
"When it was obtained, he (Sheriff Douget) contacted us, my officers drove down to Madisonville, picked the warrant up, and we executed it that afternoon," said Sheriff Price.
Moreland was one of ten deputies patrolling the roads of the county, and at eight years, one of the longest tenured in the department. Sheriff Price says he's shocked by the matter, but that his deputy's arrest is not indicative of his office.
"We are here to enforce the laws of the state of Texas and protect the citizens of this county, and if that means one of our own, then so be it," Price said.
Even if Moreland were to be cleared of these charges, Sheriff Mike Price says that he will not get his job back in Leon County. In his words, Moreland has "lost his effectiveness here."
Sheriff Price says Moreland is maintaining his innocence. What is believed to be some of those missing tools were found at his home, but the property owner has not identified them yet.