NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy avoided jail time by pleading guilty Wednesday (May 8) to smuggling drugs and other contraband into the Orleans Parish Prison in 2015, according to the District Attorney’s office.
Rubin Robertson, 31, pleaded guilty as charged to malfeasance in office and four counts of distribution of marijuana on the condition that three other charges were dropped, the DA said. Orleans Criminal District Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson gave Robertson a suspended five-year sentence, with credit for time served, court records show. Johnson also ordered Robertson to serve three years of active probation.
According to the DA, Robertson was arrested in May 2015 at the Orleans Parish Prison, about four months before the prison was closed and inmates were moved to the new Orleans Justice Center jail.
Sheriff office investigators were given a confidential tip regarding Robertson’s smuggling scheme, the DA said. When confronted, Robertson allowed investigators to search his car, where “contraband” was found and seized. Robertson later admitted to smuggling hydrocodone pills, marijuana and tobacco into the jail six times in March and April of 2015. According to the DA, Robertson told investigators an inmate paid him $500 for each delivery.
Robertson told investigators the inmate asked him to bring a cellphone into the jail, Robertson said he he refused to do so.
In a statement released Wednesday, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said prison smuggling undermines the efforts of the Sheriff’s Office as well as betrays the trust of the city and it’s citizens.
“Incidents such as this retard the progress that Sheriff Marlin Gusman and his team are trying to make, in order to bring the jail up to the constitutional standards required by the federal consent decree,” Cannizzaro said. “The smuggling of contraband by trusted deputies poses a very real threat to inmates, staff and fellow officers. It also is a betrayal of the city such deputies are sworn to serve. It is vitally important that individuals such as this continue to be weeded out, so that the jail can be made safer for all.”
Jerome Toliver, Robertson’s co-defendant, is scheduled for trial on June 19.
Robertson’s co-defendant in the case, incarcerated inmate Jerome Toliver, is scheduled for trial June 19 on one count of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a jail. Toliver is facing one count of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a jail, the DA said.
Assistant District Attorney Darius Greene prosecuted the case.