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Former Iowa State Patrol sergeant sentenced on theft charges


This news story was published on December 20, 2016.
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MASON CITY – A former Iowa State Patrol sergeant who became addicted to prescription drugs and later pled guilty in a theft case has been sentenced to probation, a fine and a suspended prison sentence.

As a result of an investigation by the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Michael Haugen, 32, a former Iowa State Patrol sergeant from Forest City, was charged with Falsifying a Public Document and Theft in the Third Degree in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. The charges allege criminal actions taken by Haugen while he was employed with the Iowa State Patrol, and while he served as an evidence officer in the Iowa State Patrol district office in Mason City, Iowa. The Complaint and Affidavit (attached) provide details.

The charge for Falsifying a Public Document alleges that Haugen altered labeling on an evidence bag in the Mason City district office. The crime is a class “D” felony, with a maximum sentence of five years.

The charge for Theft in the Third Degree alleges that Haugen removed prescription medication from evidence bags in the evidence room at the Mason City District office, and that the street value was $800. The crime is an Aggravated Misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of two years

When the Department of Public Safety received information about possible criminal activity, the investigation began, and as soon as initial reporting was confirmed, Haugen was placed on administrative leave on March 25, 2016. Upon the conclusion of a thorough investigation by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the case was presented for prosecution.

Haugen earlier posted bond and was released from jail as the case worked its way through the courts.

The criminal investigation was conducted by the DPS’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). The charges will be prosecuted by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office Area Prosecutions Division.

The impact of Haugen’s actions was reported to have a possible affect as many as six cases in the north central Iowa area.

Haugen was placed on administrative leave by the Department of Public Safety on March 25, 2016. The Department filed a notice of intent to terminate with the Employment Appeal Board on May 6, 2016. He resigned on June 6, 2016. Haugen was sworn in as a Trooper for the Iowa State Patrol on May 31, 2006, and was sworn in as a Sergeant on August 28, 2015.

After a guilty plea this past October to third-degree theft and falsifying records, Haugen was sentenced this week to a 2-year suspended prison sentence, 2 years of probation, and ordered to pay $1,129.75 in fines and court fees.

Haugen, Michael David

Haugen, Michael David

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6 Responses to Former Iowa State Patrol sergeant sentenced on theft charges

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    He was addicted to pain medication after an injury. Now that doesn’t make stealing evidence the right thing to do. He lost his job and now will have to answer to this every time he fills out a job application for the rest of his life…how would throwing him in prison protect society? Also..I agree with the mandatory drug testing for all local and state employees, along with any person that receives any type of government aid. If he would have admitted his addiction, my guess is they would have put him on paid medical leave while he received treatment. Then there is the stigma of a police officer in drug treatment that I’m sure kept him from admitting his problem.

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2016 at 8:37 am

    More people 57k die each year from drug addiction than from gun deaths(suicides inc.) and traffic accidents combined .

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Half of DC politicians are on some sort of drugs – that is why they won’t close the boarders and shut off their supply.

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Persons with authority positions should fall under a different guidelines, automatic prison, what kind of message does this send to the public? All law enforcement should be drug tested on a routine basis, and all results should be made public .

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Let me guess… either you or one of your kids has run afoul of the law at some point, and you feel “entitled” to payback. Sound about right?

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 21, 2016 at 7:49 am

        That one is always spouting off about law enforcement. Obviously he has run afoul of the law. Probably on more than one occasion.