HAYFIELD, Minn. (FOX 47) -- An investigation lasting more than a month has ended in felony charges for a Sargeant couple. They're accused of misusing thousands of dollars that belonged to the Hayfield Ambulance Service.
James Middleton, 43, and his wife Anne Middleton, 30, were long-time volunteers with the Hayfield Ambulance Service. In January, James took over as co-captain and Anne was treasurer. That all changed when they were asked to step down amid allegation they were misusing funds.
"We try and stay close and keep everybody close that's on the service," said Justin Hollar, Captain of the Hayfield Ambulance Service. "We're all volunteer EMTs and first responders on the service here so it was a huge hit to a small community."
Hollar has volunteered since 2009 and worked closely with James who was serving as his co-captain.
"It was a huge shock because the captain and the co-captain are supposed to have real close ties with the ambulance and purchases and things like that and I had no idea that any of these things were being purchased," said Hollar.
The Middleton's are accused of spending nearly $12,000 on items not related to the ambulance service.
"They told us they were having a hard time," said Hollar.
But the items were things like a Kindle Fire, a gas grill, raincoats and more. Many items were recovered during a search warrant carried out on Tuesday.
"And we said to them: 'we're a small community down here in Hayfield and everybody tries to stick together and have each other's back and why didn't you come to us before it got to this point?' There was really no explanation," said Hollar.
The Middleton's face a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $20,000.
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