Former Columbia Police Chief enters Alford Plea on federal theft charges

Former Columbia Police Chief Jason Cross entered an Alford Plea last week in federal court on theft charges.

An Alford Plea is treated the same as a guilty plea but does not require the defendant to admit guilt.

Cross was accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the city, allegedly stealing funds from the police department’s evidence locker and drug purchase fund between February 2020 and February 2021.

Cross served as the Columbia Police Chief for 10 years before retiring in March 2021.

Cross is scheduled for sentencing in September. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the charges.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.