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Former Meeker County Sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to taking drugs and toys

LITCHFIELD -- A former deputy with the Meeker County Sheriff's office pleaded guilty Friday to four charges related to theft of drugs that had been placed in a secured disposal box and toys that had been collected to give to children.

2286878+SEBRING, Travis.jpg
Custody mugshot of Travis Sebring

LITCHFIELD - A former deputy with the Meeker County Sheriff's office pleaded guilty Friday to four charges related to theft of drugs that had been placed in a secured disposal box and toys that had been collected to give to children.

Five other charges were dismissed.

In a clear, steady voice, Travis Hal Sebring, 34, of Grove City, entered guilty pleas to a felony charge of fifth-degree possession of drugs, a felony charge of theft, a gross misdemeanor charge of misconduct of a public officer and a misdemeanor charge of theft.

As part of the plea agreement, four other drug-related charges and an additional theft charge were dismissed.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 14 but under terms of the plea agreement Sebring will not face any additional jail time.

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Instead, he will be expected to perform some type of community service, write letters of apology to the sheriff's department and the Toys for Tots organization that will be read in court and was ordered to have a psychological examination.

Also as part of the agreement, there will be a statutory stay of adjudication for one felony drug case, one felony drug charge will be sentenced as a gross misdemeanor and there will be a stay of adjudication for the theft charge.

During the hearing, Meeker County Attorney Brandi Lynn Schiefelbein told Judge Michael Thompson it was an "appropriate agreement" for the offenses.

After the hearing, Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze said he was "OK" with the plea agreement because it would provide Sebring with an opportunity to "deal with it and put it behind him and move on with his life."

Sebring was working for the Meeker County Sheriff 's Office in January when he was arrested on suspicion of stealing prescription or over-the-counter medications that were in a locked drug drop box.

Located in the Meeker County Law Enforcement Center in Litchfield, the drug drop box is set up for the public to safely dispose of unwanted medications.

Acting on suspicions that Sebring was taking the drugs, the department set up a controlled sting that - along with live surveillance video and a hidden camera-showed Sebring removing a bag of medications he then concealed in his pants pocket.

During a search warrant at Sebring's Grove City residence Jan. 26, law enforcement discovered more than 100 prescription medications, the toys, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Investigators also found 50 prescription medicine tablets in his squad car.

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On the night the search warrant was executed, Sebring submitted a voluntary statement admitting to taking the drugs and toys.

Sebring had also voluntarily resigned from his job as a deputy.

Since his arrest Sebring - who reportedly struggled from post-traumatic stress and drug addiction related to two tours in Iraq - had been receiving inpatient treatment through the U.S. Veterans Affairs.

During the court appearance Friday Sebring said he had taken the drugs for his personal use but that he'd taken the toys to give to others.

Cruze said Friday that policy and procedural changes have been made regarding how the drug drop box is handled by deputies.

Related Topics: GROVE CITYLITCHFIELDTHEFT
Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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