Oct. 26, 2010
HARRIS COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF INDICTED ON BRIBERY CHARGES
(HOUSTON) – A sealed indictment charging a Harris County Deputy Sheriff for allegedly accepting bribes to access confidential law enforcement databases and provide protection for a purported ecstasy dealer has been unsealed, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard C. Powers and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
Harris County Deputy Sheriff George Wesley Ellington was arrested yesterday by FBI agents with the assistance of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The two-count indictment charging Ellington, 38, of Houston, was unsealed today following his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith. Ellington has been ordered temporarily detained pending a decision of the court on the issue of bond to be decided tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.
“Law enforcement officers who betray their public trust are a danger to the public and to every other officer and agent seeking to uphold the law,” said Moreno. “In situations like this, the entire law enforcement community - federal, state and local – works hand in hand to insure that public safety and the public trust are restored.”
The indictment and Ellington’s arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. The indictment alleges that in February 2010 and again in April 2010, Ellington received $500 for using his position as a Harris County Deputy Sheriff to access confidential information from secured law enforcement databases and for providing security/protection in his capacity as a Harris County Deputy Sheriff to a person he believed was illegally possessing and transporting 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly called Ecstasy.
“While the vast majority of law enforcement officers are honest in their work and committed to serving and protecting the public, there are some who choose to use their position for personal gain,” said Powers. “Combating corruption remains the FBI's top criminal investigative priority, and we will continue our long-standing partnership with Sheriff Adrian Garcia and the Harris County Sheriff's Office to aggressively pursue those granted the public trust who engage in illegal acts.”
“I am proud of all the hardworking employees of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office who follow the rules and who hold sacred the public’s trust,” said Garcia. “I admire and respect all of our honest and dedicated deputies, detention officers and civilian support staff. However, I will not allow for any employee(s) who allegedly engages in criminal activity to tarnish the professionalism and dedication of so many great public servants who unselfishly serve the residents of Harris County with pride, honor and respect. I thank the Houston FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office for their partnership and support of my staff in the Office of Inspector General, as we work to serve and protect the citizens of Harris County.”
Each of the two charges against Ellington carries a maximum penalty, upon conviction, of 20 years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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