TUCSON, Ariz. — Federal authorities on Wednesday released the indictment of a former Pima County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy who’s accused of misusing funds seized under an anti-racketeering law.
Christopher Mark Radtke, who has resigned from the department, is facing one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds.
According to prosecutors, Radtke could get up to a 20-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine if convicted on the money laundering charge and up to 10 years per count and a $250,000 fine on the theft charges.
Radtke’s initial court appearance is scheduled for Friday morning.
The sheriff’s office announced Monday that Radtke had resigned from the second-highest position in the department.
It wasn’t immediately clear Wednesday night if he had an attorney yet for his case.
The 10-page indictment alleges Radtke “conspired to circumvent the restrictions on the use” of RICO funds, which is money seized from criminals under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Radtke misrepresented to the county Attorney’s Office that the sheriff’s office was donating the funds to the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers, but the funds were actually used by the sheriff’s office, according to the indictment.
“This laundering of the forfeiture funds enabled the sheriff’s office to use the money free from regulations relating to forfeiture funds and procurement,” the indictment said.
Federal authorities investigated spending on a cafe operated by Radtke’s niece inside the sheriff’s headquarters.
Radtke’s niece reportedly took over operation of the cafe in 2012 and the sheriff’s department spent more than $10,000 on equipment for the space and allowed her to run her restaurant rent-free and without a county contract.
Sheriff’s officials initially said the equipment was paid for with RICO funds, but they later said the money came from the general fund.
Public records indicate the county spent more than $30,000 on equipment for the cafe and a second location opened in 2014 inside the county jail.
The indictment also lists several Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers checks issued to a sheriff’s office employee from May 2011 to April 2015 for reimbursement of restaurant bills, a microwave oven, a food and refreshment fund, a Santa sleigh for an awards banquet, two model airplanes and chalkboards. One of the checks was for more than $926.