Former Florida deputy accused of falsifying drug arrests is being held on a $1 million bond

Posted at 3:12 AM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 05:12:03-04

A former Florida deputy stands accused of falsifying at least 14 drug arrests.

Steven O’Leary was arrested Monday on charges of official misconduct, making false statements, tampering with evidence, false imprisonment, petit theft and battery. For those charges, a judge set his bond at $1 million Wednesday.

An attorney for O’Leary was not listed in court records, and it is unknown if he has representation.

CNN has reached out to the Florida Police Benevolent Association, but it is unknown if the agency represents O’Leary.

Over the 11 months he was working as a deputy in Martin County, O’Leary made 86 drug arrests, according to a 47-page investigative report. Some of those, the report said, were people being wrongly arrested and held in jail for several days.

In January, a crime lab found that substances from three cases that O’Leary submitted as evidence were not drugs. According to the report, investigators found a “broken figurine” that appeared to be a religious statue in the trunk of a sheriff’s office vehicle O’Leary had used. The figurine was made from a similar substance to that which O’Leary had identified as crack cocaine in two cases, according to the report. A lab test found that the “statue was comprised of gypsum,” the report said.

The cases were reported to the Sheriff’s Office and O’Leary was fired.