Former Crestview police officer Tim White, fired June 14 for stealing marijuana out of an evidence locker to bolster a search warrant application, has been arrested.
White was booked at the Okaloosa County Jail at 3 p.m., Thursday, according to jail director Paul Lawson. He was released a half-hour later on a $3,500 cash bond.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has charged White, 26, with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
White was an investigator for Crestview’s Street Crime’s Unit under former Chief Brian Mitchell and then-Maj. Joseph Floyd.
Mitchell was fired in April.
Floyd, who headed the Street Crimes Unit, was indicted in March on the charge of racketeering.
White confessed to taking marijuana being held as evidence in the Police Department SWAT locker in a confidential letter he wrote to Crestview Mayor David Cadle.
He informed the mayor that he had conducted a “trash pull” as part of an investigation and “located a small amount of marijuana.”
“I advised my supervisor of my findings and my supervisor advised me ‘if I was in your shoes I’d get marijuana from the SWAT closet and add it to what you found,’ ” he said in the letter.
The incident was one of three, White claimed in the letter, “in which I was placed in a situation which were unethical, immoral and lacked integrity.”
“I … was in fear of losing my job and felt obligated to do as instructed by my supervisor,” White said in the letter.
The supervisor was identified in other documents as Police Sgt. Matthew Purvines, who remains employed by the city of Crestview.
Sworn testimony from Purvines has helped the state build its case against Floyd.
White’s letter to Cadle sparked an internal investigation.
Crestview Lt. Jamie Grant conducted the investigation and determined White’s use of planted pot to obtain a search warrant, signed by Okaloosa County Judge Jim Ward on May 17, 2010, “is sufficient evidence to support a criminal violation.”
Grant determined White may have committed five criminal offenses and four violations of Crestview’s city policy manual.
Purvines, who was interviewed as part of the internal investigation, denied White’s allegations.
He told Grant he believed White was accusing him of intimidation in retaliation for Purvines’ sworn testimony against Floyd.
White has formally requested that his mugshot not be released to the public, which as a former law enforcement officer he is entitled to do.
As jail director, Lawson can overrule the request. He said he was going to make a determination sometime Friday on whether to release the photo.