Eaton Co. Deputy Arrested, Now Behind Bars - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Eaton Co. Deputy Arrested, Now Behind Bars

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EATON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) - An Eaton County Sheriff's deputy is now in custody, charged with embezzlement and drug possession after he was caught taking pills from a car while on duty.

Sheriff Tom Reich says Deputy Michael Darnell's arrest is the result of a two month long investigation. He says multiple tips came in about Deputy Darnell, some from police, some not, but once those tips came in, he says he was proactive about reaching out to the state police for help in the investigation.

"They have the resources. They have the personnel to conduct an investigation such as this," said Reich.

With those resources, Tim Gill says the state police Tri-County Narcotics squad was able to catch Deputy Darnell on surveillance red-handed. "We had a team of people conducting surveillance and observed him enter a vehicle. We determined he had taken the controlled substance, hydrocodone."

Hydrocodone is better known as vicodin. Darnell was then arrested.

And while Gill says it's never an easy situation when your own deputies break the law, the Sheriff's Department handled it well.


"I got to give the sheriff a lot of credit. Realizing when they have a situation like that they take action. That's exactly what he did," said Gill.

Darnell, no longer in a deputy's uniform, but in prison garb, now waits to face a judge.

Darnell will be in court Tuesday for a pre-trial exam conference. Authorities are keeping him in an Ingham County Jail rather than in Eaton County for his safety. They didn't want him among prisoners he may have arrested himself.

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