Portion Of State Highway Route 140 Named In Honor Of Rick Oules, Former Law Enforcement Coordinator For The U.S. Attorney’s Office
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Earlier today in Merced in the presence of his family and many friends and former colleagues, a ceremony was held in honor of Rick Oules, former Law Enforcement Coordinator for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, that included the unveiling of the Rick K. Oules Memorial Highway sign. Pursuant to a bill introduced in the state legislature earlier this year by Senator Anthony Canella (Ceres), the portion of State Highway Route 140 from Arboleda Drive to Plainsburg Road in Merced County will now be known as the Rick K. Oules Memorial Highway.
Rick began his career in law enforcement in 1977 with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, where he served as a Patrol Deputy, a Narcotics Detective, and a Patrol Sergeant. In 1987, he joined the California Department of Justice as a Special Agent and was assigned to the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, where he worked on and supervised a clandestine lab enforcement team resulting in the investigation and dismantling of approximately 300 methamphetamine laboratories. In 2005, he was appointed as the Director of the California Department of Justice’s Division of Law Enforcement, one of the largest state investigative law enforcement agencies in the United States. During his career with the State of California, Rick served as President of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association (CNOA), served on the CNOA Executive Board of Directors and the Executive Board of Directors of the California Peace Officers’ Association, and was appointed to the California Council on Criminal Justice.
In January of 2008, Rick joined the United States Attorney’s Office as our Law Enforcement Coordinator. As LEC, Rick represented our office and the United States Department of Justice as the primary point of contact for the 34 county sheriffs’ offices, more than 100 police departments, and multiple other state local and tribal law enforcement agencies that serve the Eastern District of California. He served as LEC with great distinction until his untimely death in 2011, after a courageous battle with lung cancer that was determined to be a result of his frequent long-term exposure to the chemicals and solvents found in the methamphetamine laboratories he dismantled over the course of his career.
“Rick Oules was a dedicated, skilled and effective lawman, who spent years making California a safer place to live,” said United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. During the all too brief time that we were fortunate to have with him, he represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office with dignity and grace, and to great effect. We miss all the great work that he did, but we miss him more as a friend. We are so pleased to see the establishment of this memorial in his name.”