SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK)- A Smith County deputy was arrested and charged with a third-degree felony offense for misuse of official information, according to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Luis A. Sandoval, 28, was detained on Wednesday around 2:00 p.m. after an investigation that spanned over several months. The Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division and the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division were involved.
At first, this was an East Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Task Force investigation, and it was started by DPS investigators.
Sandoval was terminated from the sheriff’s office before he was arrested. Authorities did not specify why the former deputy was charged with misuse of official information.
114th State District Judge Austin Reeve Jackson issued the arrest warrant.
Sandoval’s bond was set at $250,000, and he was booked into the Smith County Jail late Wednesday afternoon. He was later taken to another facility in a nearby county.
On Thursday, Sandoval posted a $250,000 surety bond.
He began working at the sheriff’s office on Nov. 14, 2017, and his last day was on Aug. 11, 2021.
He was a detention officer, but he was moved to patrol on Sept. 13, 2018.
Officials are still investigating the incident, and information will be limited until two current investigations are concluded.
Smith County Sheriff Larry R. Smith released a statement after Sandoval’s arrest.
“Unfortunately law enforcement officers, for one reason or another, make bad decisions. However, they will always be held to a higher standard at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. Within just two days of my taking office on January 1st of 2013, we were faced with having to arrest one of our own,” stated Smith. “Unfortunately, since that time, several others have taken the wrong path and have made conscious decisions to tarnish the badge. This is in contravention to each of the dedicated and hardworking men and women of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. There is absolutely no place in this Sheriff’s Office for dishonesty, and I assure you once it’s identified and rears its ugly head, it will not be tolerated.”
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