Ex-sheriff's sergeant gets jail time for theft of drugs from evidence room
PRICE — A former Carbon County sheriff's sergeant will serve jail time for taking drugs from the evidence locker at the sheriff's office without authorization.
On Monday, Judge George Harmond ordered Christopher Howard Basso to serve 30 days in jail, spend three years on probation and pay a $700 fine. Basso, 38, is also required to take part in substance abuse counseling and may only use one doctor and one pharmacy.
As part of a plea bargain with prosecutors, Basso pleaded guilty in October to possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony; tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance, class A misdemeanors; and trespassing, a class B misdemeanor.
A 13-year veteran of the sheriff's office, Basso was put on administrative leave in January 2013 after failing two drug tests, according to the Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
Deputies suspected Basso was entering the sheriff's office without authorization after he was put on leave. A hidden camera was set up and caught him coming into the building "at odd hours of the evening" and entering the evidence locker, Carbon County Attorney Gene Strate said.
When Basso entered his guilty plea, he admitted that he took a prescription painkiller from the evidence locker, as well as some methamphetamine or "an analog" used in the training of police dogs, defense attorney Greg Law said.
Basso was fired from the sheriff's office in February 2013. The POST Council voted in September to revoke his law enforcement certification, barring him from serving as a peace officer in Utah for life.
Harmond ordered Basso to report to the Carbon County Jail by Jan. 17. He will then be moved to the Emery County Jail, where he will serve his sentence to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: GeoffLiesik
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