A former Monticello police officer was scheduled to appear in court Monday. We broke this story last month, but Monday was supposed to be Larry Bates, Jr.'s first court hearing and our first opportunity to talk with the police chief about the fallout.
Former Monticello police OFC Larry Bates, Jr. was a no show for his Monday morning arraignment. Instead, Bates' attorney Sean Desmond attended the hearing to reschedule.
The incident that sparked this hearing happened last month when an informant complained to Monticello police he had been supplying former police OFC Larry Bates, Jr. with crack cocaine for a number of months.
The police chief says he asked bates to submit to a urinalysis test, but he opted to quit the force instead. An internal investigation was launched. It was then police Chief Frisby made a startling discovery.
"My deputy chief developed information apparently the officer had gone to Perry represented himself while he was employed as our emissary and acquired some narcotics those are all missing now," says Chief Frisby.
Bates has been charged with grand theft for the missing drugs. The chief says the incident has put a damper on the spirits of other officers in the small department.
“It's a tremendous morale buster besides the human tragedy, what it's doing to him and his family to this department it's a moral buster it's something we have to just do the right thing and move on,” adds Chief Frisby.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now asking other departments if Bates approached them. If they find any other incidents they'll open their own investigation.
His attorney would not comment on camera, but says the former officer will enter a not guilty plea. Bates' arraignment has been rescheduled for April 5.