OLNEY (KFDX/KJTL) — The former Acting Police Chief of Olney has pleaded guilty to threatening an individual at gunpoint following an investigation by the FBI Dallas Field Office, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Former Acting Chief Robert Michael Cross, 35, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to deprivation of rights under color of law before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor.
“This was a despicable abuse of power,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “The public should be assured that we will not hesitate to hold the defendant accountable.”
In plea papers, Cross admitted that shortly after arresting two individuals for aggravated robbery offenses, he coerced them into engaging in conduct for his own personal benefit, promising to have the criminal cases against them dismissed if they complied with his demands.
About a month after the arrest, on Dec. 20, 2017, he took them out in his vehicle to eat dinner and catch a movie.
That evening, he brandished a pistol, threatening one of the individuals with bodily injury and willfully depriving him of the Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.
Cross now faces up to 10 years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for March 9, 2020.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and the Texas Rangers conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Boudreau is prosecuting the case.