February 10, 2023
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — A former South Carolina police officer has been sentenced to prison time followed by probation after an investigation found he took money and weapons from the department's evidence room.
According to a statement from the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office, 47-year-old Wade Franklin Rollings was an evidence custodian with the Summerville Police Department in December 2020 when he reported that $7,439 was missing from the evidence safe.
An investigation later found that he was actually the one who took the money, entering false information into case management to make it appear as though someone else, an employee had authorized the release of funds.
When confronted by higher-ups in his department and with the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, authorities said Rollings confessed and was fired. He was then charged with misconduct in office.
An audit of the evidence room followed with help from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division which found that Rollings also took several guns from the room and sold them at area pawn shops.
According to prosecutors, before Rollings went to trial, he had already gotten a job with an agricultural retailer in Berkley County where he set up fraudulent merchandise returns and generated refunds from the store for fake customers. In all, Rollings stole roughly $2,500 over four different occasions, prosecutors said, adding that this was caught on surveillance cameras.
Rollings was convicted of two counts of misconduct in office and another of grand larceny. He also pleaded guilty to breach of trust with fraudulent intent.
Although the charges were first offenses, Sean Thornton with the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office said that prison time was appropriate.
"Crimes committed by police officers undermine the judicial system by eroding public confidence," Thornton said.
As a result, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and suspended to one year of active time with probation afterward. The sentence was handed down by Judge Bentley Price.
Thornton thanked both SLED and the work of the Summerville Police Department for making the conviction possible.
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