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Brookneal Police In Court

Two Nathalie residents, one the former Brookneal police chief, and the other a Brookneal police sergeant, recently had their day in court.

Former Police Chief Ricky Cousins pleaded guilty earlier last week in Campbell County General District Court to two charges of petit larceny.

According to evidence presented, a camera was set up on a Town of Brookneal gasoline pump after a complaint was made alleging the possible theft of gas from the town’s pump.

Footage from the camera revealed then Police Chief Cousins pumping gas into a personal vehicle not owned by the town.

Testimony indicated that when confronted, Cousins admitted to stealing 110 gallons of gas on 11 occasions that amounted to a loss of $232.42 to the Town of Brookneal.

According to court records, Cousins was ordered to pay $232.42 in restitution within 90 days, pay a $500 fine for each count, and serve six months in jail for each count, suspended on the condition of his good behavior.

When pronouncing the sentence, Judge J. C. Crumbley III said, “In addition to punishment on yourself, you won’t work for law enforcement again.”

Cousins resigned from his position as police chief on Jan. 20 after being arrested by the Lynchburg Police Department on a charge of shoplifting merchandise from a Lynchburg store.

Cousins later pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $171, according to court records.

Charges against 35-year-old Nathalie resident Brian Lee Carr were certified to a Campbell County Grand Jury last week.

Carr, who is employed as a sergeant with the Brookneal Police Department, remains on unpaid administrative leave.

After listening to testimony of details of the alleged offense, Judge Crumbley said he found sufficient evidence to turn it over to a grand jury.

According to evidence presented, a special undercover sting operation was conducted on April 13 in Brookneal in which Special Agent Troy Kanobe of the Virginia State Police instructed Special Agent T. L. Stewart to turn in to Sgt. Carr at the Brookneal police station a wallet containing $544, five lottery tickets, four sheets of written information and a coupon.

As part of the sting, on April 16 Detective E. Espinoza reported to Carr that she had lost a wallet containing those items.

She testified Carr questioned her extensively before pulling out of the back seat of his police car a wallet containing $4, the written information, a coupon and two lottery tickets.

Carr’s attorney, Aubrey Rosser Jr., argued no clear chain of custody existed for the wallet that had been placed in an office where other police officers worked.

Judge Crumbley said the attorney’s argument would have more credence if the wallet had been at the police department rather than in the back seat of Carr’s police car.

The judge certified one count of grand larceny against Carr to a Campbell County Circuit Court Grand Jury.