Thursday, December 09, 2010

Grand Jury Adds New Charges Against Deputy Sheriff and Charges Wife in Superseding Indictment

HOUSTON—A federal grand jury has returned a six-count superseding indictment against Harris County Deputy Sheriff George Wesley Ellington, 38, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard C. Powers and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. The superseding indictment incorporates charges of accepting bribes in return for protection of loads of Ecstasy from the original indictment returned in late October 2010 and adds four additional charges, including two counts of aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy—with one count adding his wife, Katrise Tania Ellington, 31, as a defendant—and two counts of carrying and possessing a firearm during and in relation to the drug trafficking offenses charged.

George Ellington, arrested following the unsealing of the original indictment in October 2010, was later released on bond. He is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, for arraignment on the new charges. Katrise Ellington surrendered to federal authorities this morning and after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeshner has been ordered released on a $25,000 unsecured bond pending trial.

George Ellington is charged in Counts 1 and 2 with accepting a total of $1000 in bribes in February 2010 and April 2010 in return for using his position as a Harris County Deputy Sheriff to provide protection for two loads of 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly called Ecstasy, and with unauthorized access to confidential law enforcement databases; Counts 3 and 4 accuse Ellington of aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy on the same dates in February and April 2010; and Counts 5 and 6 charge him with carrying and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crimes alleged in the previous counts. Katrise Ellington is charged along with her husband in Count 4 with aiding and abetting the possession with the intent to distribute Ecstasy in April 2010.

Each of the two bribery charges and two drug trafficking charges carries a maximum penalty, upon conviction, of 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine. The two firearm charges carry a potential 30-year sentence—that is, five years upon conviction of the first count and an additional 25-year sentence if convicted of the second charge—which must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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