By Chris Sorensen
A former Elbert County Sheriff's Office deputy is the subject of a nation-wide arrest warrant and is facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in Colorado's 18th Judicial District. The charges stem from a wildlife poaching incident that occurred near the town of Elbert late last year.
According to Elbert County Sheriff Shane Heap, a citizen notified Colorado Parks and Wildlife in November of last year about a suspected illegally-harvested deer. A CPW officer's investigation revealed that the suspect, Steve Few, was employed by the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff and 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office were notified about the finding, and asked to assist in the investigation.
Few had moved to Colorado from Georgia and had been employed by the sheriff for less than three months when the incident occurred. Few subsequently resigned from the Sheriff's Office.
Few returned to Georgia, where he was arrested in late December, but bonded out of jail and has not returned to Colorado for a court appearance. When he is captured, he will be returned to Colorado to face charges.
Heap released a statement saying, "This incident is totally unacceptable and I want to apologize to the Citizens of Elbert County who have not only placed their trust in us, but have and continue to be huge supporters of the Sheriff's Office."
He went on to state, "We are held to a higher standard and I embrace that fact. Law enforcement officers are accountable for their actions just like anyone else and if they break the law, they have to answer for that. In this very embarrassing situation, we have policed ourselves, held the offending deputy accountable, and will support the consequences imposed by the court. I will tell you that this is not the rule, it is the exception. And although that doesn't take away anything, know that the men and women of this Office find the actions of this individual just as offensive as all of you do."
Colorado Parks and Wildlife maintains a hotline to report illegal hunting activities. The Operation Game Thief hotline can be reached at 877-265-6648. Callers can remain anonymous.