A Pinellas County deputy was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly pawned his gun and stole confiscated drugs.
Steven Jared Smith, 32, was fired when he was arrested Wednesday, Sheriff Bob Gualiteri said.
Investigators found that on Sept. 18, Smith pawned his service pistol for $250. They also found he took a bottle of hydrocodone that was supposed to be destroyed.
He was charged with grand theft and possession of a controlled substance. He was released from jail after posting
Smith was hired by the sheriff's office in October 2012. While assigned to the narcotics division, Gualtieri said he developed "performance issues." Issues continued even after he was transferred from narcotics to other posts.
As the office investigated the cause of the issues, supervisors did an "intervention of sorts," Gualtieri said, but Smith denied any problems and said he would do better.
About a week ago, a former girlfriend told deputies Smith was addicted to prescription drugs and that he told her he had taken the bottle of hydrocodone, which had been brought in to the office for destruction after the owner had died. The girlfriend provided a photo of the bottle and the pills.
The sheriff said it's possible Smith had taken other medications while on the job.
Gualtieri said Smith told investigators that he had a back injury and had become addicted to painkillers.
When Smith was fired, he was asked to return his gear, including his department-issued Glock Model 30 handgun, but he couldn't produce it. He told investigators he had pawned it, and investigators were able to obtain it from the shop.
The investigation is continuing.
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