Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives arrest a veteran BSO deputy on grand theft charges
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Public Corruption Unit, Deputy Michael Spencer was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. during his shift at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
Spencer is facing one count each of grand theft and committing a third-degree felony with a weapon.
Following up on undisclosed information, BSO PCU detectives conducted an undercover integrity check operation at the airport.
On Aug. 24, an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who assisted with the operation, posed as a traveler who found an unattended brown purse in the airport.
The undercover ATF agent turned the handbag that contained $1,664 in cash into Spencer while he was on duty, in uniform, and sitting in his marked BSO vehicle.
The purse also contained multiple decoy items to give the appearance a traveler had lost it.
BSO detectives said Spencer made no attempts throughout the rest of his shift, which ended at 5 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, to turn in the purse and its contents. Instead, they said he kept the cash and discarded the purse and its contents.
Investigators said Spencer reported to work Thursday evening but still did not turn in the money. As a result, he was taken into custody Friday at approximately 12:50 a.m.
The investigation revealed that Spencer spent about $200 of the money.
Detectives say they’ve recovered the remaining $1,476 of the investigative funds inside Spencer’s assigned BSO vehicle.
While in bond court a few hours later, Spencer went in front of a Broward judge who found probable cause for the charges.
Spencer’s attorney told the judge he didn’t have the money for a $1,000 bond, and although the attorney representing the state argued he should be given a bond anyway, the judge ended up releasing him without one.
While in court, the judge said, “Mr. Spencer I am going to place you on pretrial release. You are not to have any firearms weapons or ammo in your possession. Make sure you follow and abide by all of the conditions of pretrial otherwise you can be held no bond. Alright? Good luck sir.”
“Public safety is an honorable profession and requires people to serve with the highest ethical standards. We will continue to police ourselves, hold employees accountable for their actions and arrest them when they engage in illegal activity,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
Spencer has been with BSO since December 2001.
Following Friday’s arrest, he was suspended without pay.