HOUSTON A former Harris County Sheriff s Department deputy and four others have been charged with cocaine trafficking.
Former Deputy Richard Bryan Nutt Jr. was arrested last month after police said they caught him with two kilos of cocaine during a drug sting.
Nutt, John Edward Scott, Danny Wayne Bell and Nathaniel House were indicted this week on a federal count of conspiring together to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
The HPD Narcotics Division launched the undercover sting after being tipped off that members of law enforcement were suspected of detaining traffickers, seizing their contraband, then giving the drugs to other dealers to distribute in the Houston area.
They set up a bait vehicle and put tracking devices on the packages of cocaine.
Officers said Banks was driving a car that picked up the cocaine from the bait vehicle and Nutt was a passenger. He was wearing his deputy uniform and carrying his firearm at the time. Both Nutt and Banks were arrested.
Bell, Scott and House were later arrested at a house where police said they found 14 pounds of marijuana, 14 firearms and approximately 300 grams of cocaine.
Nutt has since been fired from the Sheriff's Department.
A conviction for conspiring to possess 500 grams or more of cocaine carries a minimum of five years and a maximum term of prison of 40 years and a $5 million fine.
The investigation resulting in the arrests was conducted by the Internal Affairs and Narcotics Divisions of the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney James McAlister is prosecuting the case.