Former police chief pleads guilty after money disappears

ST. LOUIS – A former interim police chief in a St. Louis suburb has admitted that $7,000 disappeared after a police raid, but he insisted he didn’t take it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 47-year-old Michael Thomas Smith, of Cedar Hill, pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud. He said money seized during a marijuana-related search in Byrnes Mill in 2014 was not entered into evidence or mentioned in police reports.

He said the money disappeared because of his failure to supervise the investigation or to investigate potential misconduct.

Two occupants of the home that was raided were charged, but the charges were dropped when the disappearance of the money was discovered.

The initial indictment accused Smith of taking money on three occasions. He pleaded guilty to one count.