A federal judge cited a betrayal of the public trust and a pattern of “seriously unscrupulous” criminal conduct in sentencing former Texas district attorney Rick Roach to five years in prison on a drug-related firearms charge. The Amarillo Globe-News said the sentence exceeded a pre-trial officer’s recommendation of between 37 to 46 months. Roach, 55, pleaded guilty in a plea bargain to a charge of possessing firearms while using or being addicted to narcotics. He faced a maximum term of 10 years.
Roach once ran for office on a get-tough-on-drugs platform. But federal prosecutors said he became a methamphetamine addict while in office. He also tried to bribe Department of Public Safety troopers with cash seized from highway drug busts, they said. Roach’s attorney, Bill Kelly, attempted to refute the allegations. The attorney acknowledged that cocaine and methamphetamine were found during an FBI search of Roach’s office but said the drugs did not belong to Roach. “We specifically deny that he was engaged in any unethical conduct during his tenure,” Kelly told the judge.