WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release today, Wednesday, July 12th, regarding the dismissal and arrest today of a deputy hired back in January.
According to the press release, the deputy, identified as Austin Michael Case, age 23, has been on a new employee 15-month probation period during which time he was under supervision and never performing law enforcement duties independently.
On June 29th, the WCSO was notified of social media conversations that raised concerns about Case’s adherence to employee expectations. He was put on administrative leave and an internal investigation began.
During the course of the still continuing investigation, accusations against Case accusing him of committing crimes surfaced. The press release added, “There is no indication at this point that any of the crimes alleged occurred at a time when Mr. Case was on duty with the Sheriff’s Office.”
The investigation into the criminal conduct has been given to the Skagit and Island County Mutual Aid Response Team (SMART), a conglomeration of Skagit County and Island County law enforcement agencies.
Today, Case’s employment with WCSO was terminated, he was arrested by SMART officers and booked into the Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of the following crimes.
- 3rd-degree rape
- 1st-degree extortion
- 1st-degree burglary
- 4th-degree assault with sexual motivation
- 2 counts of unlawful imprisonment
Once the internal investigation is complete, all findings will be reported to the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission which is responsible for commencing decertification proceedings against law enforcement officers who violate its rules and/or law. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (July 12, 2023)