State Police say a complaint they received on Friday prompted their investigation which resulted in the arrest of a popular Deputy Sheriff in Russell County.
WJRS NEWS was the first to report the arrest of Deputy Nick Bertram early Saturday morning.
According to KSP, Troopers and Detectives responded to Fields Welding on Lakeway Drive to investigate a burglary complaint. After examining the scene, Detective Ricky Brooks and other State Police officers determined a “burglary had occurred” and during their initial investigation KSP officers discovered what appeared to be a “hazardous waste overpack” that was suspected to be evidence from a previous Russell County Sheriff’s Department case.
WJRS NEWS has confirmed that Lance Fields, the owner of Fields Welding, and Deputy Bertram have had a private business relationship over parts of this past year.
State Police “meth lab clean-up units” responded to the scene at Fields Welding and discovered a “one-step meth lab in the overpack that had been neutralized”. State Police say through the course of their investigation, a search warrant was obtained for Deputy Bertram’s residence in the Pleasant Hill community off Ky. 1680.
According to the State Police release that search yielded items related to the burglary reported at Fields Welding as well as “multiple meth lab overpacks” which were also believed to be evidence from previous cases investigated by Deputy Bertram. Also located were a one-step meth lab and a large amount of drug paraphernalia.
Detective Brooks subsequently charged Nick Bertram with Burglary 3rd Degree, Official Misconduct and Tampering with Physical Evidence. He is also charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Those two charges stem from a “smoking pipe” reportedly found inside a personal grooming travel bag which was inside the patrol car assigned to Deputy Bertram.
Bertram was lodged in the Russell County Detention Center late Friday night and was released Saturday after posting bond.
Sheriff Lee Smith suspended Bertram from the department pending the outcome of the investigation and charges against him.