Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Port Richey police sergeant sentenced to 3 years in drug deal

PORT RICHEY — The former Port Richey police sergeant who sold oxycodone to a federal informant was sentenced Thursday morning to three years in prison.

James Ruland, 33, sold more than 1,000 prescription painkillers while on duty from his Newhope Road home in a Spring Hill suburb, drug enforcement agents said.

The informant paid Ruland a $5,000 down payment and agreed to return with more money after unloading the pills to buyers. Ruland was arrested by U.S. Marshals the next day.

Ruland, facing a maximum $1 million fine and 20 years behind bars, agreed to plead guilty in July to distribution of oxycodone. He was sentenced in federal court to 37 months in prison and three more years of supervised release, during which his probation officer could conduct random drug tests.

Ruland worked for the 12-officer Port Richey force for eight years, rising through the ranks as a detective and chief investigator of internal affairs complaints. In 2006, he won the agency's Exceptional Service Award for tracking a Colorado fugitive. He was fired after his arrest.

Contact Drew Harwell at [email protected] or (727) 445-4170.

Former Port Richey police sergeant sentenced to 3 years in drug deal 10/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Insurers request steep premium hikes for Florida, but Obamacare subsidies may offset the impact


    FORT LAUDERDALE — Premiums for health care plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange and outside the exchange will rise an average of 45 percent in Florida this year, according to state officials. However that doesn't mean consumers will end up spending more money. In fact, they could end up seeing …

  2. Police take boy out of home where sister was shot


    TAMPA — Lizette Hernandez watched a Tampa police officer remove her 19-month-old son from her in-laws' house, the same home where earlier this month her 4-year-old daughter was shot to death.

    Nelly Zoller snuggles with her grandfather's dog, Venus. Her father says she went looking for candy in her grandmother's purse and found a gun instead. [Facebook]
  3. Rick Scott announces support for new legislation, $50 million to fight opioid crisis

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding.

    Gov. Rick Scott announced on Sept. 26, 2017, that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding. [Associated Press file photo]
  4. Republicans to unveil broad tax cuts Wednesday, put off tough decisions


    President Donald Trump and top Republicans will promise a package of sweeping tax cuts for companies and individuals, the Washington Post reports, but the GOP leaders will stop short of labeling many of the tax breaks they hope to strip away, putting off controversial decisions that threaten to sink the party's tax …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Washington. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  5. Double your fun: Twitter's testing a 280-character limit for tweets


    Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey last year made a definitive announcement about the company's famous 140-character count amid rumors that the firm would substantially relax the limit. "It's staying," Dorsey told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer. "It's a good constraint for us."

    In this 2013, file photo, the Twitter logo appears on an updated phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. [AP photo]