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Tate Branch Dodge manager arrested for embezzlement

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The general manager of local auto dealer Tate Branch Dodge has been arrested for embezzlement.

James D. Keese, of Artesia, was arrested Wednesday by Eddy County Sheriff’s Office deputies and charged with embezzlement in the fourth degree. He is currently being held at the Eddy County Detention Center on no bond.

ECSO Chief Deputy Mark Cage says the department was called to the auto dealership Wednesday to investigate a report of embezzlement and possible fraud. Detectives were informed of the alleged activities by administrative personnel.

The reporting parties stated that over the course of the past week, property belonging to the autoplex had been taken from inventory and placed on an employee’s personal vehicle. The ECSO began an investigation into the allegations, during which Keese was identified as the individual possessing the stolen property.

A search warrant was drafted and executed later in the day.

The incident remains under investigation.

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