HOUSTON (AP) — Two Houston-area investigators are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in rare comic books while working an embezzlement case.
A Harris County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Dustin Deutsch, 41, with felony theft by a public servant and tampering with evidence, the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1xSEkHC ) reported. Deutsch and his former partner at the Harris County District Attorney's Office, 39-year-old Lonnie Blevins, are accused of stealing the comics from a storage unit in 2012.
Both men were assigned to investigate attorney Anthony Chiofalo, who stole about $9 million from a crane-manufacturing company. He was sentenced to 40 years in May after pleading guilty to first-degree felony theft of more than $200,000.
Chiofalo bought hundreds of collectibles with the stolen money, including a first-edition Batman comic valued around $900,000 and a baseball helmet signed by former Cincinnati Reds player Pete Rose. The company, discovering the missing funds, alerted authorities.
The FBI said Deutsch had keys to a storage unit that held the vintage comics, and that Deutsch gave the rarities to Blevins, who sold them in Chicago.
The FBI arrested Blevins in February 2013, about two months after he left the district attorney's office. He pleaded guilty to federal charges in May and is awaiting sentencing.
After Blevins' arrest, Deutsch was arrested and later resigned. Attempts to reach an attorney representing Deutsch were not successful.
Deutsch was arrested at his home and is behind held with a combined bail of $405,000, officials said.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com