Former Waukesha Co. Sheriff's Lt. charged with theft of pills

WAUKESHA CO. (WITI) -- FOX6 News has learned charges have been filed against a former Waukesha County Sheriff's Lieutenant accused of stealing pills.

Sarah Massa

36-year-old Sarah Massa of Mukwonago faces one count of misdemeanor theft, and one count of obstructing an officer.

A criminal complaint against Massa says Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officials were requested by Waukesha County to conduct an investigation related to missing percocet pills that had been taken from a residence on Pewaukee Road.

The DOJ was called to investigate the case due to the fact that Massa was a Waukesha County Sheriff's Lieutenant.

The complaint says officials met with a doctor who was treating Massa's grandmother, who was in the end stages of terminal cancer. That doctor reported that he prescribed 120 percocet pills to Massa's grandmother every 30 days to help manage severe pain she was experiencing as a result of her cancer.

The complaint says on July 6th of 2013, the doctor was advised by Massa's aunt that she and Massa's grandfather had noticed approximately 60 pills missing.

In September of 2013, Massa's aunt reported an additional 58 pills missing -- and they needed a refill. A doctor would not provide a refill unless police were contacted -- according to the complaint.

Officials spoke with Massa's grandfather, who reported the only two people who provide pain pills to Massa's grandmother are himself and a hospice nurse who comes by several days a week.

The complaint says Massa's grandfather reported the family had hosted a Fourth of July party -- and it was after that that he noticed approximately 60 pills were missing. The man told officials he had noticed Massa going inside the home while the others were outside during the Fourth of July party -- something that now struck him as suspicious.

The complaint says Massa's grandfather began to suspect Massa may be responsible for the thefts because she had been at the residence during the times when the pills went missing. Massa's grandfather told officials she is a "good kid," but said something was going on -- saying he knew she was in pain due to a back problem, according to the complaint.

Massa's grandfather also told officials he believed it was suspicious that after the pills went missing, Massa wouldn't show up at the house again for several days, according to the complaint.

The complaint indicates that after the second theft incident involving the percocet pills, Massa's grandfather moved the pills from the kitchen into a locked safe in the bedroom.

The complaint says in October of 2013, a covert camera was placed in the bedroom where the pills were kept.

In November of 2013, officials placed 96 placebo pills similar in appearance to the percocet pills in an empty percocet prescription bottle. The complaint indicates four days later, six of the pills were reported missing.

Officials downloaded video from the camera placed in the bedroom, and according to the complaint, an individual was seen reached into the bedroom and taking the placebo bottle from the nightstand -- before returning the bottle to the nightstand.

The complaint says Massa's grandparents identified the individual in the video as Massa.

According to the complaint, Massa was wearing a police uniform, and could be seen to have a gun in a holster.

Officials spoke with Massa, who said she initially thought her aunt was involved in taking the pills, because her grandmother's pain levels were off and there were occasions where her grandmother was in more pain than usual. Massa told officials she had observed pain pills in her aunt's purse. Massa said she had had conversations with her aunt about the pills -- but said her aunt did not want to report the missing pills, according to the complaint.

Massa told officials she noticed the pills were out in the bedroom -- and said she took the pill bottle to the bathroom. Massa admitted to taking six pills out of the pill bottle -- and said she noticed the markings were different on these pills, so she went to Google and determined they were not real percocet pills, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Massa told officials she believed her aunt was replacing her grandmother's prescription pills with some other pills -- saying that she took the six pills because she wanted to make sure they were genuine. Massa told officials when she learned they were acetaminophen, she took all six at once, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Massa told officials she spoke with her aunt, and learned a camera had been placed in the bedroom -- and learned the pill bottle didn't have the real medication in it.

Officials spoke with Massa on a separate date -- when she contacted them, saying she had recorded a conversation between herself and her aunt -- in which she said her aunt admitted to taking pills from her grandmother, according to the complaint. The complaint says in the conversation, Massa's aunt admitted that Massa's grandfather would let her have a percocet pill "when Mom was on her three pills a day -- but she could take four if she needed to. If there was an extra one and I was hurting really bad, Dad would let me have the extra one. That happened like two times." This, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint says the aunt told Massa there was never an occasion when Massa's grandmother's pills were in her purse.

The complaint says Massa's grandfather said he had given the aunt one pill one time, because she had to wait a day to fill her own prescription. Massa's grandfather told officials Massa came to his residence in November of 2013 and said that "she had made a mistake, and had taken the pills." He believed that to be in reference to the pills taken in July and September -- as well as the pills taken in November, though he says Massa never specified, according to the complaint.

Sarah Massa has resigned her position with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department. She was given the choice to resign and keep her pension or be fired.

Some members of her family have sent an email to FOX6 News. They say they feel Massa is getting special treatment because she was in law enforcement.

In an email written to the family by Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, he says that’s just not the case.

Schimel writes Massa is not getting special treatment — he’s just giving her time to make a decision: plead guilty to a misdemeanor or go to trial for a felony.

FOX6 News has learned Massa's husband, Christopher Massa served as a police officer in Waukesha. Christopher Massa has resigned his position under suspicion of sexting his wife while on duty.

Sarah Massa is set to make her initial court appearance in the case against her on April 7th.

Waukesha County Sheriff Daniel Trawicki released the following statement to FOX6 News after charges were filed against Sarah Massa:

"On March 25, 2014, former employee, Sarah Massa was charged with one count of 'Theft-Moveable Property' and 1 count of 'Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.'  Sarah Massa was on administrative leave since December 2013 pending the outcome of this investigation.  She resigned from the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department on March 5, 2014 while the investigation was pending.  This case is ongoing -- therefore I will not speak to the merits of the charges."