Former deputy faces criminal charges.

September 30, 2016


#OceanaCountyNews #OceanaCountyPoliceNews

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A former Oceana County sheriff’s deputy, who had worked for the department for over 11 years, is facing criminal charges.

Wesley John Hanks, 52, of Hart, was arrested by the Hart post of the Michigan State Police for misdemeanor charges of malicious destruction of trees, shrubs, crops, grass, turf, soil less than $200 and police radio receivers/scanners – use in the commission of a misdemeanor, according to his court file in 78th District Court. He was still employed as a sheriff’s deputy when he allegedly committed the crimes.

Hanks was arraigned last Tuesday, Sept. 20, in district court stemming from an Aug. 5 incident, according to his file.

“He is currently no longer employed with the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office,” said Oceana County Sheriff Robert Farber. The sheriff did not want to elaborate whether Hanks was fired or resigned. “John was employed by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office from Feb. 21, 2005 until Sept. 21, 2016,” Farber said.

Farber declined further comment on the case, because the investigation was handled by the state police.

Details leading to his arrest are also unclear. Lt. Matt Kanitz of the Hart post said the matter was turned over to the Special Investigation Section at the MSP district headquarters in Rockford. A message left at that office was not immediately returned.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said he recused himself from the case due to a conflict of interest. The case has been handed over to Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead, Bizon said. A message left at Springstead’s office was not immediately returned.

A pretrial in district court is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m. Hanks’ bail was set at $5,000/personal.


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