Former Texas province attorney investigator charged with stealing evidence

The Houston Chronicle, The Hornet, fchornet.com

Harris County, TX


A first-edition Batman comic book worth $900,000 is among a cache of items that were allegedly stolen by two veteran court investigators.

Dustin Deutsch, 41, was indicted on Tuesday for felony theft by a public servant and tampering with evidence, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Deutsch along with Lonnie Blevins, 39, his former partner at the Harris County District Attorney's Office in Texas are blamed of stealing thousands of dollars worth of vintage comics.

Prison: Anthony Chiofalo, a Houston attorney who has been on the run since June when he was blamed of stealing more than $9 million from his employer, leaves the 339th state District Court, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013

Both of the province attorney investigators allegedly stole the comic books which were evidence in an embezzlement case that they were investigating in May 2012 against Anthony Chiofalo.

The case centered on Chiofalo, who, was blamed of embezzling about $9 million from his client, a company that manufactures heavy cranes.

He bought sports memorabilia including a baseball helmet signed by Pete Rose, rare comic books and other collectibles with the stolen cash.

Authorities were called in after the crane company discovered the missing funds.

Meanwhile, Chiofalo kept hundreds of the items bought with the cash in his home and a storage unit in Spring.

During the investigation, investigator Deutsch had the keys to get into the storage units giving him ample opportunity to steal the items.

In October 2012, Blevins sold thousands of dollars worth of rare comic books to a dealer in Chicago who later discovered they were the same items purchased by Chiofalo from an online auction house.

An attorney representing the company Chiofalo had worked for learned about the comics and recognized the name of the seller: Harris County DA's investigator Lonnie Blevins.

The FBI arrested Blevins in February 2013.

Deutsch was suspended after Blevins was arrested and later resigned.

The pair also own a private investigation business' in Humble.

Deutsch is being held in custody Tuesday with combined bail set at $405,000 for both charges.

In May, Chiofalo was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree felony theft of more than $200,000.

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