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Public Safety News
Galveston Police Department
News Release
Friday, February 23, 2018

Galveston Police Arrest Officer Involved in Prescription Narcotic Ring

Several months ago, while conducting an unrelated narcotic investigation into 32-year-old Salvador Rivera, here on the island, Galveston Police Department Narcotics Unit detectives received information that a Galveston Police Officer, later identified as John Rutherford may have been working with Rivera and playing an integral role in the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.

Detectives, working with FBI and DEA agents utilizing various investigative techniques, substantiated allegations that Rutherford may in fact be assisting with this criminal activity.

Detectives and agents discovered that this employee provided Rivera with protected and classified information concerning officer’s locations, movement patterns, and work assignments in an effort to allow these criminals to continue to operate without being intercepted by the hardworking and honest men and women of the Galveston Police Department.

The Galveston Police Department has been working closely with the FBI, DEA, and Galveston County District Attorney’s Office to bring this individual to justice.  Earlier this morning, FBI SWAT served a search and arrest warrant in the 5600 block of Lafitte in Galveston, taking Rivera into custody.  Simultaneously, our own officers placed John Rutherford into custody here at the Justice Center.  Rutherford has been charged with Engaging Organized Criminal Activity, Misuse of Official Information, and Tampering with Physical Evidence, all 3rd Degree Felonies, and has been assessed a total bond of $750,000.  Rutherford has also been placed on administrative leave and we have begun a parallel administrative investigation.

“We realize the community may feel betrayed by someone sworn to protect them; I can assure you that you are not alone.  The men and women of the Galveston Police Department share in this disappointment.  Galveston Island however; should be proud of our department.  This investigation was initiated, conducted, concluded, and the arrest made by Galveston Police Officers who were betrayed by one of their own. The officers and agents involved knew their community deserved better, and that this person, officer or not, must be brought to justice.” – Chief Vernon Hale

Remembering Jim Guidry

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