Ex-state police firearms examiner Rone gets probation in theft case

Carl M. Rone

DOVER — The 62-year-old founder of the Delaware State Police Forensic Firearms Services Unit received probation Thursday morning regarding falsified time sheets.

Carl M. Rone, of Philadelphia, pleaded to misdemeanor counts of theft by false pretense and falsifying business records for actions investigators said took place in 2016 and 2017.

Superior Court Judge Noel E. Primos suspended two years of Level V prison time for 12 months of Level II probation, followed by a year of Level I. Rone was ordered to pay $30,265.39 in restitution, $10,000 of which was paid by check immediately after sentencing and factored into a lesser included theft offense against him instead of an originally charged felony theft over $1,500 offense.

Rone resigned from his civilian position with DSP in January and was indicted by a Kent County grand jury on May 7.

“It’s a sad day for him,” defense attorney Eugene J. Maurer said. “He’s been reduced to doing some home improvement jobs in and around the Philadelphia area, and some consulting work.”

Rone, dressed in blue jeans, tennis shoes and a windbreaker in court, agreed to pay back the remaining $20,265.39 restitution balance in monthly $400 payments until the debt is satisfied. No contact with any DSP facility was ordered.

Rone was hired by DSP in 2006 as a forensic firearms examiner and allowed to work outside jobs during his time off. Questions arose about his billed time to DSP and independent work trips to Washington, D.C. and New York. DSP alleged that Rone billed the state for approximately 79 days of work not performed, or roughly $383 per day.

Rone, a Philadelphia police officer for 20 years according to his attorney, declined to address the Court prior to the plea and answered “Yes sir” and “No sir” in response to a series of judge’s questions about the ramifications and his understanding of the deal. The Court asserted that it was almost impossible to back out of a plea deal or for the sentence to be changed, which the defendant acknowledged.

Mr. Maurer said “This proceeding marks the culmination of a long process and protracted negotiations.”

Deputy Attorney General David Hume described Rone as being “contrite” and noted his loss of DSP job and tarnished reputation along with future professional limitations following the plea deal. Trial was scheduled for Monday, following a postponement on Aug. 6.

According to Mr. Maurer, “I don’t think anyone has ever questioned the proficiency of his work or quality of it,” but a return to the same line was unlikely.

“His ability to continue in that career is severely limited by his conduct,” DAG Hume said.

According to the Associated Press, a judge last months tossed out cellphone evidence that prosecutors were hoping to use against Rone. The information included call detail records, with cell site location information for a two-year period from January 2016 to January 2018, the AP reported.

The judge agreed with Rone’s attorney that the compelled disclosure of cell site location information constituted a search without a warrant based on probable cause, and without a legally recognized exception to search warrant requirements, the AP said.

Facebook Comment