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Martin County narcotics detective resigns following sexual assault allegations

The Martin County Sheriff's Office headquarters on Oct. 25, 2021.jpg
Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 18:29:27-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A Martin County narcotics detective has resigned following a criminal investigation into sexual assault accusations.

The State Attorney's Office has decided not to press charges, but Sheriff William Snyder said his agency has had to drop several dozen drug investigations.

"For this to happen on my watch is extremely embarrassing. I'm extremely saddened by it," Snyder said.

Snyder said one of his narcotics detectives, Michael Oliver, has resigned from the sheriff’s office after almost 10 years with the agency.

"His overall evaluations have always been good, that’s why this is so inexplicable," Snyder said.

Snyder said they got a call in June from the boyfriend of a confidential informant who claimed Oliver sexually assaulted the informant, though she didn’t initially want to report it.

Snyder said he asked neighboring St. Lucie County to investigate.

Documents show that detectives said the woman told detectives that Oliver texted her early one morning in late April, saying he wanted to come over and talk to her.

She thought she might be in legal trouble because she was already working off criminal charges by being an informant.

Documents said Oliver looked around the house with her children there, then asked to show her something outside by his truck, where she claimed he sexually assaulted her, and that she even honked the horn to get her children’s attention to make the alleged assault stop.

Documents said Oliver deleted text and phone records from that night and lied to detectives about being at her home. GPS records tracked him there.

St. Lucie County wanted to arrest Oliver, but the State Attorney's Office denied a warrant, in part saying because of the informant's seven-time felony record, an abundance of evidence was needed.

The state attorney said there was no DNA evidence, no witness testimony of sexual battery, no video evidence, or a confession.

"When he resigned there was nothing left for us to do, we couldn’t have investigated it," Snyder said.

Snyder said because Oliver resigned, the sheriff’s office can’t do an internal investigation..

Snyder said it’s likely Oliver would have been fired for being alone with a confidential informant, which is a policy violation.

"One of the rules is that they never, ever have contact with an informant by themselves. They don’t ever have contact without a supervisor knowing. It’s a very, very precarious relationship and it’s one we have to be careful with to make sure there is no chance of an allegation without at least a witness there," Snyder said.

Snyder also said he worked with the State Attorney's Office to review Oliver's investigations, deciding to drop roughly 40 drug cases where Oliver was a lead detective and his word and integrity were critical.

"Cases that we dropped were serious cases. They were felony cases. We don’t like to do that. We don’t want dangerous drugs on our streets," Snyder said.