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Hillsborough deputy cadet arrested for grand theft

On Darius Barnwell's second day in the academy, detectives learned he was possibly involved in criminal activity, the sheriff's office said.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A deputy cadet has been arrested for allegedly taking money from his previous employer on multiple occasions, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Darius Barnwell, 25, was on his second day as a cadet in the Sheriff's Training Academy when detectives learned of some "possible criminal activity" prior to his start.

According to the sheriff's office, between Oct. 6, 2022, and Feb. 6, 2023, Barnwell was employed by Loomis, a cash handling company, where he was required to deliver money to ATM vendors. 

"Through investigative means, detectives were able to determine that nine different times, Barnwell removed an undisclosed sum of money from his delivery, and forced the ATM to balance, keeping it from raising a red flag in the company's system," the sheriff's office reports.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister expressed disappointment following Barnwell's arrest.

"It is extremely disappointing that someone who wanted to serve and protect the community would commit this crime," Chronister said in a statement. "No one is above the law. It doesn't matter if you have been part of HCSO two days, or twenty years."

Barnwell was arrested on Feb. 7 and charged with third-degree grand theft.

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