Volusia, Orange deputies attempted to conceal stolen guns, FDLE finds

Deputies made up story about guns, falsified report, investigators says

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Two deputies have been charged with falsifying a report following a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation, according to the state law enforcement agency.

FDLE officials said Deputy Brian Calkins, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, gave Volusia County Deputy Phillip Donaldson two firearms he said he got from a cousin. Calkins asked Donaldson to dispose of the revolver and semi-automatic pistol, according to the FDLE investigation. Donaldson asked other VSCO deputies how he should dispose of the weapons but learned one of the weapons was stolen, FDLE agents determined.

At that point, Calkins and Donaldson made up a story about where the weapons came from and Donaldson filled a report that stated an older woman stopped him and gave him the guns, saying she found them in the bushes outside her home, according to the FDLE.

The investigation was prompted after Donaldson’s peers and supervisor at VCSO became suspicious of conflicting stories and reported their concerns. Donaldson resigned the day after he wrote the report.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood requested the FDLE investigation in June, according to the FDLE.

“I’m disappointed in the inexcusable actions of this former deputy, but proud of the swift response from his fellow deputies and supervisors who brought it all to light,” Chitwood said in a statement. “I appreciate the FDLE conducting a thorough investigation and making sure our law enforcement officers cannot place themselves above the laws they have sworn to uphold.”

Calkins and Donaldson are both charged with a misdemeanor of falsifying a report. The both are set to face a judge in October.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Calkins was hired in May 2018 and assigned to youth services. He was formerly employed by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, records show.

“He has been relieved of duty, with pay and transferred to an administrative role. Once the criminal case is resolved, an OCSO internal investigation will happen, and the results of that investigation will be public,” the department said.