Laurel Reserve Officer Accused Of Stealing, Gifting Gun
By Mike Perleberg
Clinton M. Ellis. Photo by Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.
(Laurel, Ind.) – A man who was supposed to be enforcing the law in Laurel was instead caught breaking it, Indiana State Police say.
Former Laurel Police Department reserve officer Clinton M. Ellis was charged Tuesday with two counts of Theft (level 6 felony) and one count of Official Misconduct (level 6 felony) in Franklin County. He was arrested Tuesday without incident.
Indiana State Police say the investigation into Ellis, 34, of Laurel, began in January after the agency was contacted by Laurel Town Marshal Brad Spurlock.
Ellis allegedly confiscated a handgun as police served a search warrant at a suspect’s home last November. Instead of submitting that firearm into the department’s evidence storage, he kept it. Investigators say Ellis gave that handgun to a fellow officer as a Christmas gift.
State Police also believe Ellis also stole $2,500 from the Town of Laurel in November of 2016. He received a check from the town’s clerk saying it would be used in a drug sting operation. However, the investigation determined that the money was never used for its intended purpose and was unaccounted for by Ellis.
Ellis, who was fired from the police department last month, is in jail awaiting an initial appearance in court. His bond is set at $5,000 surety.
The Brookville Democrat-American newspaper reported last week that there may also be a second investigation of Ellis. It concerns the death of the Laurel Police Department’s K9 officer, Blade, last year. No charges have been announced by any agency in regard to that investigation. The department announced last month that Blade’s unofficial cause of death was a condition known as bloat.