Carroll Rescue Squad member faces fraud, drug charges
Monday, March 31, 2014 11:00 AM
A member of the Carroll County Rescue Squad faces several charges after allegedly using one of the department's credit cards for personal use.
Michael Allan Starks, 26, of Carrollton, was arrested Thursday following a Carrollton Police Department investigation into a missing credit card from one of the rescue squad's trucks.
Police officers believe Starks used the credit card about 18 times since Jan. 24 to purchase more than $600 in fuel for his personal vehicle, Carrollton Police Department Public Information Officer Tim Gividen said.
Carroll County Emergency Management Director Ed Webb contacted Carrollton Police Officer Ron Dickow on March 24 about possible misuse of a fuel credit card assigned to one of the squad's trucks, Gividen said. Webb initially contacted Dickow because he also serves as a member of the rescue squad.
Dickow set up surveillance inside the Carroll County Emergency Operations Center where the rescue squad trucks are housed, Gividen said. Webb contacted Dickow again on March 27 because the credit card was missing from the truck.
Dickow went to the emergency operations center to investigate further when he observed a pickup truck pulling into the center's parking lot. Dickow identified Starks in the vehicle and notified Sgt. Tim Mitchell. Upon arrival to the center, Mitchell found the Marathon credit card assigned to the squad truck in Starks' pocket, Gividen said.
Mitchell advised Starks of his Miranda rights, and then questioned him about the fuel card.
"He admitted to taking the card and using it for person use on his own vehicle," Gividen said.
The Marathon credit card - issued to the Carroll County Fiscal Court which oversees the squad's expenditures - could be used only for fuel purchases.
Officers also found drugs and drug paraphernalia inside Starks' truck during the investigation, Gividen said.
Starks faces charges of abuse of public trust and unlawful access to a computer, both Class C felonies; and fraudulent use of a credit card and possession of a controlled substance - heroin, both Class D felonies. Starks also faces charges of official misconduct, theft by unlawful taking and possession of drug paraphernalia, all Class A misdemeanors.
The charge of unlawful access to a computer stems from the credit card's use at a gas pump's credit card machine, Gividen said.
A passenger in Starks' vehicle, 25-year-old Summer Starks of Carrollton, was arrested on drug-related charges. She faces charges including two counts of possession of a controlled substance and a count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Summer Starks was not involved in the misuse of the credit card, Gividen said.
Both were taken to the Carroll County Detention Center. Michael Starks remains lodged on a $10,000 bond. Summer Starks remains lodged on a $5,000 bond.
Michael Starks' status as a member of the Carroll County Rescue Squad is pending because of the court proceedings in the case.