More charges filed against ex-Roosevelt County deputy
Last updated 7/17/2020 at 12:35pm
Criminal allegations against a former Roosevelt County sheriff’s deputy are increasing.
Chris McCasland, 34, was arrested Wednesday on stolen property charges connected to his time working as a police officer in Angel Fire.
On Thursday, charges of burglary and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle were also filed, again in connection with his time in Angel Fire.
District Attorney Andrea Reeb said McCasland turned himself in to authorities for a second time Friday after Thursday’s charges were filed. She expected him to be released later Friday after a video arraignment with Colfax County officials.
In addition, Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker on Wednesday issued a news release in which he named McCasland as a suspect in the theft of more than $8,000 from the sheriff’s evidence room. The $8,254 was reported missing in January 2019. McCasland has not been charged in connection with the missing cash.
McCasland’s attorney said Thursday he is innocent of all charges.
“They come from allegations that are 6 years old,” Attorney Dan Lindsey wrote in a text message on Thursday. “We look forward to exoneration at trial.”
On Friday, Lindsey added, “Totally bogus charges instigated by his ex wife in a custody dispute.”
McCasland was first arrested Wednesday morning in Tucumcari, where he has family, on charges he stole a television set and other items found at his home in Portales. The items were linked to burglaries in Angel Fire, records show.
Tucumcari authorities released him on Wednesday, but on Thursday, charges of burglary and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle were filed by Colfax County officials against McCasland.
The Colfax County warrant states McCasland unlawfully entered an Angel Fire Resort storage building and stole a snowmobile.
The news release from the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office states Parker reported the missing cash to state police for investigation after an internal audit. The police probe couldn’t find a responsible party.
Also in the sheriff’s news release:
• In May, a deputy reported he could not find his duty-issued Glock .40-caliber handgun after a supervisor called for a routine weapons inspection. State police again were called to investigate.
• State police reported to the sheriff that crimes were discovered after conducting interviews with McCasland and others. A search warrant was executed on McCasland’s home, and stolen items were discovered.
• State police also told the sheriff the missing money possibly was linked to McCasland, based on witness interviews and purchases made.
• McCasland was placed on immediate leave pending an internal investigation. The sheriff’s office subsequently found McCasland had an active warrant from Yuma County, Arizona, for failing to pay traffic tickets he had not disclosed. A small amount of marijuana also was found in McCasland’s squad car.
• An independent polygraph examiner in Amarillo with 43 years of experience questioned McCasland about the missing cash from the evidence vault. The examiner “reported deception in regards to the questions,” the news release stated.
• McCasland was served a notice of termination Monday, and he resigned his post via third party the next day.
The money missing from the sheriff’s department was not located, but Lindsey said the county paid him the $8,254 as part of his fee for representing another client whose money was stolen.
In a Roosevelt County affidavit filed Wednesday that accompanied McCasland’s initial arrest warrant, it stated he kept a stolen television set, chain saw and pole-pruner saw at his Portales residence.
According to the affidavit filed by New Mexico State Police Sgt. Gerardo Hernandez, McCasland’s former wife, Kendra Gossett, provided information about the Angel Fire burglaries when McCasland was employed as an officer there and assisted him with the crimes.
Court records show she requested protection from McCasland because she feared he would retaliate against her. She said she didn’t hold a grudge against her former husband but felt her and McCasland’s participation in the crimes was wrong and needed to be reported.
When they lived in Angel Fire from 2013 to 2016, Gossett said McCasland broke into the Alpine Lumber store and stole several chain saws and a pole-pruner saw. She told state police several of the saws were sold or traded but a few were kept at his Portales home.
Gossett also said she and McCasland were involved in a burglary and theft of two television sets at Enchanted Circle Brewing Co. in Angel Fire and a snowmobile from Angel Fire Resort. She said the snowmobile was taken to a storage facility in Las Vegas and later was sold to someone in Angel Fire, according to the court documents.
Follow-up investigations by state police determined Gossett’s recollections were accurate based on police reports filed in Angel Fire at the time. The snowmobile was found at the Angel Fire residence where Gossett said it was. The person who bought the snowmobile said McCasland didn’t give him a title with the vehicle.
State police interviewed McCasland at the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office. He denied involvement in the burglaries, the missing firearm and missing money in the evidence vault. McCasland acknowledged he had a passcode to the vault.
State police executed a search warrant at McCasland’s home and found a television set, chain saw and pole-pruner saw that were confirmed via receipts and serial numbers to have been stolen from Enchanted Circle and Alpine Lumber.