Liberty Co. deputy accused of theft

August 17, 2012 9:00:23 PM PDT
A Liberty County sheriff's deputy is behind bars in Harris County. He's facing a serious charge after a federal investigation.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted a multi-agency sting on Thursday that ended up with the arrest of Deputy Anthony "Tony" Lewis.

Lewis is a veteran law enforcement officer who is now on the other side of the law. He's charged with theft, much to the shock of his neighbors in Humble.

"I don't know. I just can't imagine any of my neighbors. I would be shocked if any of them got caught stealing something," one neighbor said.

Lewis, who lives in his quiet subdivision with his family, was arrested Thursday night during a multi-agency sting operation. He's accused of stealing a generator and a cutter.

Neighbor Michael Grizzaffi says he knew Lewis only as law enforcement.

"I just thought he was basically undercover, because he'd come up with his assault weapons, coming out of the trunk of his squad car," he said.

Lewis used to be a deputy with The Harris County Sheriff's Office. Records show he was fired in 2009 after an international investigation determined he was trying to extort money from an acquaintance. Investigators called his conduct "blatantly unprofessional."

But he wouldn't stay unemployed for long. The Liberty County sheriff's department hired Lewis hired in 2010. He was in a special narcotics division until his arrest, and he's been put on leave without pay.

"I don't know. It's scary, it's scary, having my kids here, my family here and not knowing what's going on right next door," another neighbor said.

Lewis' family members wouldn't talk to us, though the deputy's arrest is the talk of the neighborhood.

"I've been his home before they seem nice, they're just a little distant," a neighbor said.

Until now, neighbors said they knew him only marginally as a friend and an active volunteer for a local political campaign. Lewis himself ran for public office about four years ago.

His first court appearance is schedule for Monday.

We worked on this story with our Houston Community Newspaper partner, The Cleveland Advocate.

We'll have more details on Eyewitness News at 10.


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