http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/166447.php Tucson Region 2 accused in sale of Sheriff's Dept. guns Long 'trusted' sergeant and armorer suspected of stealing arms, ammo By Dale Quinn arizona daily star Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.27.2007 Two former Pima County Sheriff's Department employees suspected of involvement in selling firearms and ammunition stolen from the department may face criminal charges, an official said Friday. Three other employees have resigned or been fired in connection with the case. Former Sgt. Thayer Thacker and former department armorer Thomas Sibley resigned in December rather than face termination, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Department. The two converted firearms for their personal use and sold some to buyers who didn't know they were stolen, the release said. Some of the property — not the firearms — was sold on the eBay Web site. Thacker and Sibley, of the Pima Regional Training Center staff, received the property mainly from the Sheriff's Department Property and Evidence Section. The items were transferred from the unclaimed-property and evidence-pending-destruction areas of that section, said Capt. Chris Radtke, commander of the Administrative Services division. The firearms were meant to be used as training aids for students at the Pima Regional Training Center, Radtke said. Sibley sold 14 firearms — 11 handguns, two shotguns and a rifle — as well as two high-capacity handgun magazines, 24 M-14 rifle magazines, ammunition, two ballistic vests and one knife. He also kept a handgun for personal use, according to the Sheriff's Department. All 14 firearms Sibley sold and the one he kept for himself have been recovered, Radtke said. Thacker sold several M-14 magazines and two knives, he said. Thacker knew that Sibley, his subordinate, had sold items from the Property and Evidence Section, according to the Sheriff's Department. Sibley has worked as the Sheriff's Department armorer since he was hired in March 1994. Thacker was hired as a corrections officer in September 1991, promoted to deputy in January of 1996 and to sergeant in October 2001, Radtke said. "Both individuals were very much trusted by the department to be put in these positions," Radtke said. "We are aghast at what they did to the department and to the taxpayers." The investigation into Thacker's and Sibley's actions will reach back several years, Radtke said. He could not say how long they'd been selling department property or how they carried out the sales. A sheriff's deputy resigned after it was determined he wouldn't cooperate with Internal Affairs investigators about telephone calls he made to Thacker and Sibley. The criminal investigation is being conducted by the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the Pima County Attorney's Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Sigberto Celaya, the resident agent in charge of the bureau's office, said the agency is assisting in the investigation but provided no details. "I cannot share any information on an open investigation such as this one," Celaya said. Radtke said the Sheriff's Department has a system in place to account for firearms at the Pima Regional Training Center, and officials will audit the system to see if changes need to be made. On StarNet: Find more about Tucson's crime and criminals in StarNet's Police Beat blog at regulus2.azstarnet.com/ blogs/policebeat ● Contact reporter Dale Quinn at 629-9412 or [email protected].