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Former LMPD Detective Admits To Stealing $75K While On Duty

LMPD headquarters.
LMPD headquarters.

A former Louisville Metro Police detective confessed in a plea deal Wednesday to stealing cash from UPS packages.

Kyle Willett, 48, stole nearly $75,000 by pilfering packages of cash that traveled through the parcel service's Louisville hub, according to his federal court plea agreement. Willett was a veteran detective assigned to a law enforcement task force that specialized in drug smuggling.

Willett first appeared in federal court Wednesday, entering his guilty plea before U.S. District Magistrate Dave Whalin. If convicted, Willett faces up to 10 years in prison.

His attorney, Brian Butler, said Willett's sentence will likely top out at one year in prison due to his cooperation with authorities.

Few details of the crime emerged from Wednesday's brief court proceeding. Willett offered little beyond a "yes, sir" or "no, sir" when responding to the judge.

Willett, who is out of custody on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Following the hearing, his attorney didn't elaborate on Willett's actions.

"Greed did not motivate him to do this, he was not spending this money to live a lavish lifestyle," Butler said.

Willett has been cooperating with law enforcement and has already repaid most of the $75,000 he stole.

"He took responsibility the moment he was approached by federal authorities," Butler said.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney John Kuhn's office said no more charges are expected to be brought in this case.

It's unclear what prompted the investigation. Officials at the Louisville Metro Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Willett left the agency recently, his attorney said. He had worked as a homicide detective before transferring to the specialized drug task force.

The Courier-Journal reported earlier this year that Willett and another officer, Thomas Barth, were being investigated by the FBI.

Willett and Barth could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday evening.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.