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Forum News Service, Published November 05 2013

Former deputy convicted in prescription drug case

STILLWATER, Minn. - A former Washington County sheriff’s deputy accused of stealing prescription drugs from the department’s drug drop-off bin awaits sentencing after a jury convicted him Monday.

Ricky Harry Gruber, 43, of Oakdale, was convicted of misconduct by a public employee and illegal possession of prescription drugs.

The former deputy was captured on surveillance video in February removing the secure “drug drum” from the county’s pharmaceutical drop-off box at the sheriff’s office in Stillwater. Gruber later admitted to stealing a key to access the area, making his own copy and taking prescription drugs from the drum, according to prosecutors.

“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is to be congratulated for its swift and sure response in investigating the crimes committed by one of their own deputies,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a news release. “... While it is disheartening when a law enforcement officer commits a crime, we can be reassured by the fact that they, too, will be brought to answer for their crime.”

Gruber’s sentencing is set for Jan. 10.