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Former Morehouse Parish Deputy given probation

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BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A former Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Deputy has been given probation.

"None of us are above the law, if one of us commits a crime its going to be investigated it wont be swept under the rug" says Morehouse Parish Sheriff Mike Tubbs.

Chris Balsamo was sentenced to 2-years of probation after a judge said that multiple letters from the community in support of Balsamo was submitted to the court.  The judge was also concerned about sending Balsamo to prison because of the number of inmates that would reside there that Balsamo had arrested.

The court acknowledged that Balsamo had no previous criminal history and had repaid all of the stolen money back to the sheriff's office.

Initially, Balsamo had resigned after an internal investigation found that he had taken $100 from an envelope in 2011.

"At the time when he resigned from the sheriffs office a very small amount of money was missing" says Tubbs.

 But through further investigation, $500 turned up missing from an evidence locker.  Also, in 2009 $17,788 were taken from a drug bust.

The missing money was investigated after an employee was running through a checklist of evidence.

Balsamo pleaded guilty to the felony theft charge and is working on a pipeline.

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