HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – A former Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detective is facing charges of misconduct and tampering with evidence.
Dalton Lewis, 32, was employed with HCSO from 2016 to 2021 and worked as a detective within the Criminal Investigations Division.
Through the course of a criminal investigation, detectives determined that prior to Lewis resigning from the agency on August 27, 2021, he attempted to conceal his remaining incomplete cases by reassigning them to a retired employee or simply removing his status as the lead investigator.
These actions were confirmed when Lewis’ user activity was searched internally and matched the above-mentioned conduct. A total of 36 cases were reassigned or left unassigned.
Immediately upon identifying the issue, supervisors reassigned each case to other detectives. No additional revictimization took place during the time that the cases were left unassigned. At this time, the motive for Lewis’ actions remains unclear.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office arrested Lewis at his home on June 27, 2022, without incident. He faces one count of tampering with physical evidence and 72 counts of unlawfully withhold or detain records from successor by public officer or employee.
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“The behavior and misconduct exhibited by this former law enforcement officer are shameful and not a representation of the nearly 4,000 dedicated employees of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Intentionally concealing cases involving victims seeking justice is a clear break of the oath he once took to protect and serve the Hillsborough County community,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “This once trusted public servant spent his final hours trying to hide his unfinished business. Thankfully, the only harm he caused was to himself, and now, he will face the consequences for attempting to conceal those incomplete cases from the same people he once considered his peers. Let this be an example that nobody, including the men and women of law enforcement, is above the law.”