Second Wake deputy investigated in embezzlement
A second Wake County deputy is being investigated in the theft of evidence from the department, according to search warrants released Monday.Posted — Updated
Balinda Manley, 34, of 8401 Falcon Crest Circle in Angier, was charged last month with two counts of embezzlement and one count of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.
Irregularities were uncovered during a routine evidence audit, and Sheriff Donnie Harrison asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the situation.
The evidence – narcotics and $6,435 in cash – was seized on Feb. 19, 2010, according to search warrants. Manley signed out the evidence twice last June but didn't return it the second time, warrants state.
She was instructed to return the evidence in March because prosecutors needed it for trial, and she returned the narcotics on March 24, warrants state. Five days later, she returned a package that she said contained the cash, but an investigator noticed irregularities in the packaging, according to warrants.
Investigators later opened the package and found a stack of blank paper sandwiched between two $1 bills, according to warrants.
Manley was fired after her arrest.
Investigators searched her financial records and those of a second deputy, Chad Hines. They also found a deposit slip for $1,800 in Manley's car and a deposit slip for $940 in Hines' patrol car, according to warrants.
Hines, who left the Wake County Sheriff's Office on April 27, hasn't been charged in the investigation.
In an e-mail to WRAL News on Tuesday, he said he was part of the drugs and vice unit with Manley, and the whole unit would process evidence after a case.
"I had nothing to do with any criminal activity," he said in the e-mail.
Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said he doesn't know whether anyone else will be charged in the case. Harrison said the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment.
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