Times Journal

Posted January 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Russell County Deputy Sheriff Nick Bertram, a veteran of the department, was arrested a week ago last Friday night and charged with third degree burglary, official misconduct, tampering with physical evidence, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Kentucky State Police.

On Friday, January 4, the Kentucky State Police Post 15 in Columbia received a complaint of a burglary and troopers and detectives arrived shortly thereafter at Fields Welding on Lakeway Drive in Russell Springs and spoke with the complatant, Lance Fields.

Fields and Bertram reportedly had a previous business relationship involving farm gate production.

After examining the scene, state police discovered that a burglary had occurred in the latter part of December.

State Police Detective Ricky Brooks also discovered what appeared to be a “hazardous waste overpack” that was suspected to be evidence in regards to a Russell County Sheriff’s Department investigation, according to state police.

Meth Lab cleanup units responded to the scene and discovered a one step meth lab in the overpack that had been neutralized, state police said.

Through the course of the investigation, a search warrant was obtained for Bertram’s home in the Pleasant Hill community off Ky. 1680.

The search warrant yielded items related to the burglary, as well as multiple meth lab overpacks, which were also suspected to be Russell County Sheriff’s Department evidence, according to state police.

Also located were a “one step meth lab and a large amount of drug paraphernalia,” according to a state police press release.

State police reportedly found a smoking pipe which contained a small amount of marijuana inside a personal grooming travel bag which was located in Bertram’s patrol car. State police citations also showed Bertram had been using a laptop computer seized during a previous Russell County Sheriff’s Office investigation for his personal use. The search warrant also said welding equipment and other items were discovered at Toe Joe’s Variety and Pawn in Russell Springs.

Bertram, 26, was lodged in the Russell County Detention Center and has been suspended from the sheriff’s department by Sheriff Lee Smith pending the outcome of the state police investigation.

The investigation is currently ongoing and is being led by State Police Detective Ricky Brooks.