Posted: 2:38 pm Thursday, September 21st, 2017
By Eric "Hollywood" Davis STAR 94.5
A deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office is accused of grand theft after stealing items from a crime scene, including cash, and possibly using stolen credit cards in another county, investigators said Tuesday.
The Sheriff’s Office learned of the allegations against Joseph Suheil Haddad on Sunday, which is when the alleged theft took place.
The situation started when Haddad responded to a reported burglary on Heming Way in Orange County. The victim in the case, Sammy Shehata, called officials to report what had happened. While at the residence, deputies found marijuana, THC gummies, cannabis seeds and Hashish, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A second deputy came to the address on Heming Way to handle the drug case, which led to Shehata’s arrest on multiple drug possession charges, officials said.
When Shehata asked to gather his belongings, he noted some missing items and complained to the Sheriff’s Office regarding the alleged theft of a wallet, credit cards and $1,750 in cash.
This prompted the Professional Standards Section, which is affiliated with the Sheriff’s Office, to launch an investigation into the missing items.
Officials said they secured evidence and found probable cause against Haddad for the theft of a wallet, cash and credit cards.
The investigative team then contacted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office regarding the illegal use of the credit cards in several separate incidents in that jurisdiction, authorities said.
This resulted in a joint investigative effort by both agencies. Osceola County investigators will handle the alleged crimes and charges that involve their region.
Officials in Osceola County served Haddad with a search warrant on Tuesday, arrested him and booked him at the county jail.
Haddad, who has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office since April 2016, was immediately relieved of duty without pay and his law enforcement authority was revoked.
“The facts in this case are troubling to me.The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is not a place for a liar or thief to work. I am committed to ensuring that such individuals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that they will be fired,” Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
He will remain in this status as the court proceedings move forward and until the Professional Standards investigation is finished.
In March, the department received a complaint that Haddad battered his romantic partner, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Haddad was exonerated on that charge in July.
The department said there is another open investigation involving Haddad, but details on that complaint were not available.
Haddad met department standards in his most recent performance evaluation, which was received in July.
A supervisor listed his best strength as his commitment to teamwork and learning from his mistakes. His organizational skills and his ability to meet deadlines need to be improved, according to the evaluation.
Haddad was hired at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in May 2016. He was previously assigned to East Orange County patrol duties.