Fired Dallas County deputy gets 15 years for cocaine theft
A federal judge called a former Dallas County sheriff's deputy's conduct "sad, appalling and tragic" before sentencing him to 15 years for stealing cocaine from an undercover agent he thought was drug trafficker.
"The fact that you were a police officer cuts both ways," U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn told Standric Choice, 36, during his sentencing Friday.
"People had confidence in you to protect us from this very type of conduct," she told the 15-year deputy, arrested in a January sting in Dallas. She noted that Choice had financial troubles, including owing back child support, but said that as a police officer, he should have known better.
"It's horrifying you'd sacrifice all that for $20,500," the apparent amount Choice planned to make from 4 kilograms – nearly 9 pounds – of cocaine that he stole from an undercover agent posing as a South Texas drug supplier.
Before sentencing, Choice asked the judge for leniency.
"I apologize to this court," he said. "I just ask the court to have mercy on me today."
Choice and two other men, Terry Kemone Anderson, 30, and Charlie Lee Hill, 32, were arrested in January.
Early that month, an informant told federal agents that he knew of a Dallas County sheriff's deputy who was teaming with a relative, Hill, and robbing drug dealers.
The FBI had the informant call Hill posing as a drug dealer and tell him that he planned to buy 4 kilograms of cocaine from a South Texas supplier. Hill said Choice could pretend to arrest the informant and grab the cocaine, authorities said. The informant and Hill then would split the drugs and compensate Choice.
On Jan. 9, authorities were watching as Choice, in his police uniform, pulled his squad car up to a vehicle parked at the TA Truck Stop on Interstate 20 and Bonnie View Road in southern Dallas. Inside were the informant and the undercover agent, posing as the South Texas supplier.
Choice arrested the informant, let the "supplier" go, and took a duffel bag containing cocaine, which he put in the trunk of his squad car.
Choice then left the truck stop, and Hill and his roommate, Anderson, who had both been observing the fake arrest, followed Choice for about a mile before stopping in a secluded area on Cleveland Road. Choice released the informant and handed over the cocaine.
FBI agents arrested Choice when he returned to the Dallas County sheriff's office. Hill and Anderson were arrested near the truck stop.
In September, Lynn sentenced Hill to eight years in prison and Anderson to five years.
Lynn wasn't swayed Friday by the defense's recommendation that Choice get only a six-year term, calling that "preposterous."
"Instead of stopping the flow of drugs, he's moving them and taking a tip," the judge told Jeffrey Grass, Choice's attorney.
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
November 14 2009