MIAMI – The Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Friday the arrest of a veteran BSO deputy, who is facing grand theft charges.
BSO said Michael Spencer was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. during his shift at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
Spencer faces one count each of grand theft and committing a third-degree felony with a weapon.
Here is what BSO said led to the arrest:
“Following up on undisclosed information, BSO PCU detectives conducted an undercover integrity check operation at the airport.”
“Wednesday evening, Aug. 24, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) who assisted with the operation posed as a traveler who found an unattended brown purse in the airport. The undercover ATF agent turned the handbag that contained $1,664 in cash into Deputy Spencer while he was on duty, in uniform and sitting in his marked BSO vehicle. The purse also contained multiple decoy items to give the appearance a traveler had lost it.”
Detectives say Spencer made no attempts throughout the rest of his shift, which ended at 5 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, to turn in the purse and its contents. Instead, they said he kept the cash and discarded the purse and its contents.
Spencer reported to work Thursday evening but still did not turn in the money, according to investigators. As a result, he was taken into custody Friday at approximately 12:50 a.m.
The investigation revealed that Spencer spent about $200 of the money.
Detectives recovered the remaining $1,476 of the investigative funds inside Spencer’s assigned BSO vehicle.
“Public safety is an honorable profession and requires people to serve with the highest ethical standards. We will continue to police ourselves, hold employees accountable for their actions and arrest them when they engage in illegal activity,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
Spencer has been with BSO since December 2001 and has been suspended without pay.