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Former SD trooper sentenced to five years for taking $70K

CHAMBERLAIN -- A former highway patrolman was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing nearly $70,000 in evidence money. Brian Biehl, 48, of Platte, was sentenced Friday to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for taking $...

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Brian Biehl, 48, of Platte, right, listens during a Feb. 13 meeting at Platte-Geddes High School in Platte. (Jake Shama / Republic)

CHAMBERLAIN - A former highway patrolman was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing nearly $70,000 in evidence money.

Brian Biehl, 48, of Platte, was sentenced Friday to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for taking $69,668 in money confiscated during drug searches while he was employed as a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper, according to the South Dakota Attorney General's Office.

Biehl, who worked in the Chamberlain area for 15 years, was accused of taking the money between May 21, 2012, and Oct. 19, 2016. According to court documents, Biehl said he intended to repay everything he took but said he needed the funds because he was "short on money."

The thefts were discovered on Oct. 21, when prosecutors discovered $3,850 was missing from a case set for trial. Biehl pleaded guilty to grand theft by law enforcement of seized property, a Class 4 felony, on Feb. 6.

Biehl also served as president of the Platte-Geddes School Board, but announced his decision to resign from the position on Feb. 13. Biehl initially remained on the board, but he later stepped away as a member, too, on Feb. 23.

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