A King County District Court pro-tem judge this afternoon found probable cause to hold a former King County sheriff’s deputy for investigation of theft, possession of stolen property, tampering with evidence and drug possession. Bail for Mitch Wright was set at $250,000.
Wright, a 33-year-old Bothell resident, was arrested Monday. He was a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s office before he resigned last month when threatened with termination, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case against Wright, he was assigned to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) narcotics taskforce from 2009 to and February of this year. Drugs seized during investigations that aren’t federally prosecuted are turned over to individual officers, who are then to enter the drugs into their own agency’s evidence system, the statement says.
Wright, who was working undercover, is accused of failing to enter any of the drugs released to him by the DEA into evidence with the sheriff’s office, the statement says. The street value of the drugs Wright allegedly stole is estimated at between $36,500 and $52,490, according to the statement.
Wright was named “Shoreline Police Officer of the Year” for 2006, when he made more than 150 arrests. The sheriff’s office provides police services to Shoreline under contract, although officers wear Shoreline uniforms and drive patrol cars marked “Shoreline police.”
During today’s bail hearing at the King County Jail, Wright’s father, a longtime agent with the DEA, spoke on his son’s behalf, asking the judge to release him on personal recognizance.