Ex-deputy arrested for theft

Published 2:15 am Friday, February 26, 2016

A former sheriff’s deputy and former candidate for sheriff was arrested on felony theft charges this week.

District Attorney Walt Merrell said that Johnny Wayne Cravey, 68, of Florala was arrested and charges with theft of property I.


Merrell said the charges stem from an investigation led by his office, which received a complaint of a potential fraud from a concerned citizen.

Merrell said he asked for help from the Alabama Bureau of Investigations and his office worked jointly.

“Investigators Nickey Carnley and Brett Holmes from our office partnered with SBI Investigators Mike Gillis and Johnny Senn and did a fantastic job of detailing the fraud that Cravey committed,” Merrell said. “I especially appreciate Chief Carnley’s contribution. His experience and knowledge proved invaluable.”

Merrell said Cravey was arrested for his involvement in forging a deed and claiming ownership of property in the south end of the county.

According to Merrell, Cravey then recorded the deed with the probate judge’s office and used the fraudulent document to borrow money from lending institution. Then he failed to repay the loans.

“Obviously, you hate that a crime of this nature occurred at all, but you especially hate that it’s committed by a former sheriff’s deputy and that the system failed to catch the fraud before people were taken advantage of,” Merrell said. “Hopefully, when this is all said and done, we can clear the title to the property so that the rightful owners are not burdened any more than need be and we will make every effort to make sure that Cravey is held accountable and justice is served.”

Theft of property I is a Class B felony.

Merrell said that under the new Alabama Prison Reform Act, Cravey’s sentence falls under mandatory sentencing parameters, which are 14 to 46 months. He can also be placed on probation.