The Leadwood Chief of Police faces felony charges this week after allegedly altering police report records and stealing a gun from the department’s evidence locker.
William Dickey, 38, was charged Thursday in St. Francois County with stealing a firearm, tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution, and hindering the prosecution of a felony.
According to a probable cause statement from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a woman was stopped by a Leadwood police officer earlier this year on Jan. 24.
During the stop, the officer located two handguns, a Glock 19 and a .380 pistol, and a substance he believed to be methamphetamine.
The woman was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance and taken to the Leadwood Police Station by the arresting officer.
The report states that after learning about the arrest, Dickey, the Leadwood police chief, came to the station and interviewed the woman for an hour and a half.
The arresting officer placed the methamphetamine in the Leadwood Police Department’s evidence locker and Dickey took control of the two handguns.
The guns were reportedly placed in the evidence locker by another Leadwood police officer. The officer then placed a report number associated with the guns and the controlled substance in the Leadwood Police Department’s report number logbook.
The officer was informed by Dickey, who was his supervisor at that time, that the woman he had arrested would not be charged with a crime and instructed him not to write or file a police report.
A report was never prepared in this arrest, according to the statement.
When the woman requested that the guns be returned to her, Dickey reportedly refused.
The report states that the logbook with the report number associated with the handguns and controlled substance was covered over with correction tape.
On June 11, a Leadwood police officer reported to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) that the woman had inquired about having her two guns returned to her but that the Glock 19 was missing from the evidence locker.
This officer also indicated that the report number associated with the guns was no longer in the logbook and no police report was ever created nor filed for the arrest of the woman. Based on this information, the MSHP applied for and received a search warrant for the Leadwood Police Department's evidence locker.
On July 23, the search warrant was executed, and Dickey was interviewed.
When interviewed, the police chief reportedly admitted that the missing Glock 19 was at his home. He then granted permission to search his home and the Glock 19 was located at that time.
Dickey turned himself over to authorities Thursday afternoon. He was booked at the St. Francois County Jail and a $20,000 cash or surety bond was set in the case.
If released on bail, Dickey is prohibited from possessing firearms and must not engage in any law enforcement activity. While released, he must participate in random drug screenings weekly with a pre-trial assessment provider, according to court documents.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.