former Acting Police Chief of Olney, Texas was sentenced today to 10
years in federal prison for threatening an individual at gunpoint,
announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy
Former Acting Chief Robert Michael Cross, 35, pleaded guilty in
October to deprivation of rights under color of law following an
investigation by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office.
“The city of Olney deserves police officers with respect for the rule
of law,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Instead, this defendant abused
his power, stripping citizens of their dignity for his own perverse
ends. We are gratified he has been held to account for his despicable
“Law enforcement officers are responsible for upholding the law and
protecting their communities from harm. The defendant used his position
of authority to prey on vulnerable individuals and exploit them for his
personal gain,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J.
DeSarno. “The FBI is committed to preserving trust in law enforcement.
We will criminally pursue any officer that violates the law and abuses
their oath to protect and serve.”
In plea papers and in other information provided in court, Mr. 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 victim with bodily injury and
coercing the victim to engage in sex acts with another individual,
thereby willfully depriving the victim of the Constitutional right to be
free from unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.
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. U.S. District Judge Reed C.
O’Connor handed down the sentence.