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Former Dodge County Sheriff's Deputy set to be sentenced died of natural causes

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The final autopsy report on former Dodge County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Harbaugh, who was found dead at his home in Fremont the day before sentencing before federal court, determined that the cause of his death was heart disease.

According to a press release from the Dodge County Attorney’s office, the investigation revealed Harbaugh had a prior history and diagnosis of heart problems and was on medications for heart-related issues at the time of his death. A toxicology report showed no indication of an intentional or accidental drug overdose. The investigation also found no evidence Harbaugh caused his own death.

The autopsy report, issued by Physicians Laboratory Services, Inc., listed the official cause of death as atherosclerotic coronary heart disease, the release said.

Fremont police officers went to Harbaugh’s apartment after 3:30 p.m. for a welfare check on Thursday, July 8. Officers found Harbaugh dead with nobody else in the apartment.

Harbaugh pleaded guilty to a wire fraud scheme before Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Bataillion in February and was scheduled to be sentenced before federal court the following day. The scheme defrauded six individuals and one federally insured bank of a combined loss of $10,979,214.

In return for his plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska dropped 12 other charges against him.

The plea meant that Harbaugh faced upward of 20 years in prison.

Harbaugh admitted to falsifying purchase orders and contracts for his privately owned business, “Tactical Solutions Gear,” a federal firearms licensee with a former location in Fremont.

The defendant agreed he used the false purchase orders and contracts to induce individuals in the community to invest in his firearms business expecting to receive a return when Harbaugh filled the purchase orders.

Harbaugh also used falsified documents to obtain lending from a federally insured bank and lied about having standing or open purchase orders or contracts with any of the companies or government entities that he claimed to be doing business when he induced the victims to invest with him, U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly’s office said in a news release.

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