Former Columbia Police Chief Indicted by Federal Grand Jury for Stealing Drug Money

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Bowling Green, Kentucky – A federal grand jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky returned an indictment today charging the former Columbia, Kentucky Chief of Police with stealing over $25,000 from the city of Columbia, Kentucky.   

According to court documents, between February 2020 and February 2021, Jason D. Cross, 44, of Columbia, stole over $25,000 from the police department evidence locker and the city’s drug purchase fund. 

Cross is charged with one count of violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A), which makes it a federal offense for a city employee to steal more than $5,000 from a city that received over $10,000 in federal assistance in a calendar year.  The defendant made his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.  If convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky made the announcement. 

The Kentucky State Police are investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weiser is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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