Ex-Miller police chief arrested by Mo. Highway Patrol on gun theft charges

In the course of the search, two rifles were found that had earlier been reported missing from the evidence locker of the Miller police station.

August 3, 2017

Christian County resident Bruce faces two felony counts of receiving stolen property

The former chief of the Miller Police Department was arrested last Thursday at his home in the Christian County town of Clever on two charges of felony stealing of firearms following an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Joshua Lee Bruce, 34, who had served as Miller police chief until May 4, was arrested July 27 by state troopers following the execution of a search warrant with assistance from the FBI at his Clever residence. In the course of the search, two rifles were found that had earlier been reported missing from the evidence locker of the Miller police station.

Bruce was later booked into the Christian County Jail on a 24-hour hold and has since been released.

According to the probable cause statement filed July 28 with the Christian County Prosecutor's Office, the rifles had been taken as evidence by the Miller PD following a search back in 2007 and had been held as evidence since.

Miller City Attorney Bill Petrus said that following the dismissal of Bruce as chief of police, all findings made by the city regarding the matter of the missing items were turned over to the Highway Patrol for their investigation, which was led by Trooper Evan Tyrrell of Troop D, based in Springfield.

As Bruce is a resident of Christian County, he is currently being charged there with two class D felony counts of receiving stolen property, one for each rifle.

Bruce has only been charged with these crimes, and is still regarded as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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