Justice News

Department of Justice
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Former Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Pleads Guilty to Depriving Motorist of Civil Rights by Kidnapping

WASHINGTON – Franklin Joseph Ryle Jr., a former Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper, pleaded guilty on July 20, 2009, in federal court in Wyoming to depriving a man of his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizures by kidnapping him. Ryle also pleaded guilty to one count of using his firearm in relation to the crime.

While working on duty as a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper on the night of Jan. 8, 2009, Ryle stopped a Wal-Mart truck with the intent to murder its driver and stage an accident with the truck that would either injure Ryle or kill his wife, allowing him to seek a monetary settlement from Wal-Mart.

Ryle stopped the driver on an isolated stretch of Interstate 25, a few miles southeast of Douglas, Wyo., and falsely told the driver that there was a warrant for his arrest, handcuffed him and placed him in the patrol car. Ryle drove away from the scene with the victim and unsuccessfully sought help from others for his scheme.

A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The investigation was conducted by Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents Mike Carlson and Darrin Cregger and FBI Special Agent Richard Fanelli. Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys Edward Caspar and Christopher Lomax are prosecuting this case for the United States.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014