Washington County deputy charged in drug theft
A 15-year veteran of the Washington County sheriff’s office is accused of stealing drugs from the department’s prescription drug drop-off boxes.
Former deputy Ricky Harry Gruber, 43, of Oakdale, was charged Tuesday, Feb. 27, with felony drug possession, two counts of felony theft, misconduct of a public officer and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.
Gruber resigned from the sheriff’s office Feb. 12 while the alleged theft was being investigated.
He was hired in September 1997.
Sheriff Bill Hutton said Gruber worked on special projects and “the majority of his responsibility was our new records-management system.”
The sheriff’s office has prescription drug drop-off boxes at three locations: the Law Enforcement Center in Stillwater and the county service centers in Forest Lake and Cottage Grove. Officers have access to the boxes in order to collect the contents.
The boxes are part of a greater effort to get prescription drugs out of the hands of would-be abusers. Unused or unwanted medications can be dropped off with no questions asked. Law enforcement and public health officials then dispose of the drugs.
Gruber’s first court appearance is scheduled for May 15.
Elizabeth Mohr can be reached at 651-228-5162. Follow her at twitter.com/LizMohr.