HOUSTON -- A former Harris County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for stealing drug loads from dealers and splitting the proceeds with others, according to federal authorities.
Richard Bryan Nutt, 45, has more than 20 years in law enforcement and military service, federal officials stated.
Nutt pleaded guilty in February 2011.
On December 15, 2010, then Deputy Nutt met with his co-conspirators and learned that a vehicle containing narcotics or narcotics proceeds would be driving through Houston, federal officials stated.
They agreed to stop the vehicle, a Chrysler Aspen SUV, with the assistance of Deputy Nutt. He was to conduct a traffic stop of the SUV, which was reportedly to be driven by a drug dealer from Mexico, and pretend to arrest the driver then release him while the co-defendants took the vehicle containing the drugs, state federal prosecutors.
The conspirators would then split the money from the sale of the drugs.
Later that day, federal authorities stated that Nutt, in full uniform and driving a silver pickup equipped with red and blue emergency lights, spotted and followed the Chrysler Aspen SUV as it drove into a parking lot of a Houston area shopping center.
Once parked, the SUV driver, actually an undercover HPD officer, abandoned the SUV. A package thought to contain cocaine was then transferred from the SUV to a blue Nissan Altima, according to federal officials.
Officials stated that Nutt entered the vehicle as it drove off the lot, and it was soon stopped by HPD officers. The package, which actually contained fake cocaine, was found and removed from under the passenger seat where Nutt sat.
Nutt and his co-defendants were arrested by law enforcement officers and subsequently charged federally.
Others involved in the scheme have all pleaded guilty and also been sentenced to prison.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Affairs and Narcotics Divisions of the Houston Police Department with the assistance of the FBI.