Ex-CHP Officer Gets 30 Years in Drug Theft

From Times Staff Reports

A former California Highway Patrol officer was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge to 30 years in federal prison Thursday for helping steal nearly 650 pounds of cocaine from a narcotics evidence locker and then selling the haul piecemeal through a mid-level drug dealer.

George Michael Ruelas, 43, a 13-year CHP veteran, looted the locker at the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement office in Riverside in July 1997.

His former CHP partner, Michael Wilcox, 42, pleaded guilty to taking part and was sentenced earlier to 63 months.