By Jacqueline Ingles
November 22, 2013
A Hernando County man is accused of stealing from his employer to fund his drug habit, deputies say.
Tyler Scotland is facing 23 counts of grand theft, 23 counts of dealing in stolen property and 14 counts of defrauding a pawnbroker.
Deputies say on the night of November 11 they conducted a traffic stop near Libby Road and Everett Avenue. Scotland, 28, was reportedly behind the wheel.
An arrest affidavit states officers asked Scotland to get out of his car because he was shaking.
Scotland told deputies he was once addicted to Dilaudid and used to inject it into his person, deputies say.
A search of Scotland's car allegedly led to the discovery of three syringes and a spoon stuffed in a sock, the affidavit states.
Scotland reportedly told deputies he had no knowledge the syringes were in his car and that he stopped using drugs in April.
Deputies say the syringes and spoon field tested positive for opiates.
Scotland was placed under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia.
When deputies conducted a routine check of a database made available to the Sheriff's Office they say they found a very high volume of pawn activity recently conducted by Scotland.
Further investigation revealed 20 recent pawns at a local pawn shop involving laptops.
Deputies say when they questioned Scotland regarding the transactions he stated, "He works with computers and just buys and sells them for money because he is having hard times."
Scotland advised authorities that he worked in the Information Technology Department at Southwest Florida Water Management District and has been employed there since 2008.
An arrest affidavit states that the deputies became suspicious and contacted Scotland's employer on November 21.
Deputies reportedly found out the laptops belonged to the Southwest Florida Management District.
The deputies went to the pawn shop and recovered the 14 laptops, according to the arrest affidavit. There were 23 transactions recorded in the pawn log involving Scotland, deputies report.
Deputies say they determined all the pawns occurred over the past month and that Scotland received $3,200 for the pawn transactions.
Each laptop has an estimated value of $1,500.
Scotland is being held on $300,000 bond.