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April 14, 2011

FORMER HARRIS COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF CONVICTED OF EXTORTION

(HOUSTON) – A former Harris County Deputy Sheriff has been convicted of extortion after pleading guilty to the felony charge in federal court, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

George Wesley Ellington, 38, of Houston, pleaded guilty this afternoon before U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison to one count of extortion under color of official right. Per the terms of the plea agreement executed today, Ellington faces a maximum prison term of 60 months without the benefit of parole at sentencing.

The charges against Ellington resulting in today’s guilty plea are the result of an investigation conducted by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. At today’s hearing, Ellington acknowledged that were this case to go to trial, the United States could prove that in April 2010 he accepted $500 for using his position as a then Harris County Deputy Sheriff to access confidential information from secured law enforcement databases and for providing security/protection in his official capacity to a person he believed was illegally possessing and transporting 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly called Ecstasy. 

Judge Ellison set Ellington’s sentence hearing for June 30, 2011. The court has permitted Ellington to remain on bond pending sentencing.

Ellington’s wife, Tanya Katrisse Ellington, is pending trial in May for allegedly attempting to aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute Ecstacy and conspiracy in May 2011. She is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
 
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel C. Rodriguez and F. Andino Reynal.

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