Former sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to federal charges

Steffanie Kearbey
Steffanie Kearbey

CARTER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A former Carter County deputy pleaded guilty to two federal charges.

Steffanie Kearbey entered the plea Monday to possession of stolen firearms and sale of a stolen firearm.

Kearbey admitted that on December 24, 2009, the Carter County Sheriff's Department responded to a complaint at the home of a convicted felon and found 18 firearms.  The man could not lawfully possess the firearms.

Carter County deputies collected the firearms, and instead of maintaining all of the firearms as evidence as required by law, Sheriff Tommy Adams sold some of the firearms to Richard Kearbey, the defendant's father.

Steffanie Kearbey took possession of these stolen firearms and maintained possession of them for her father. She also took possession of other firearms stolen from the convicted felon.

Some of the firearms were sold by the Kearbey and Tommy Adams to others, with the last sale occurring on April 2, 2011, when Kearbey sold one of the firearms, a Sig Sauer, .40 caliber pistol, to an informant for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

On April 2, 2011, Federal and State law enforcement authorities seized five of the firearms from her home.

Kearbey now faces a maximum punishment of 10 years and a $250,000 on each count.

Her sentencing is set for July 9, 2012.

Both Adams and Kearbey resigned in April 2011 after their arrests.

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