No prison for ex-Orleans deputy after pleading guilty in jail contraband case
May 8, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Wednesday (May 8) secured the felony conviction of a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy caught smuggling illicit drugs and tobacco to a paying inmate at the former Orleans Parish Prison jail in 2015.

Rubin Robertson, 31, pleaded guilty as charged to malfeasance in office and four counts of distribution of marijuana. As part of a plea agreement with the state, three other counts were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea.

The plea agreement left sentencing to the discretion of Criminal District Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson. She imposed the same concurrent sentence for each of the five counts: A five-year suspended sentence and three years of active probation, with credit for time served.

Robertson was arrested at the Orleans Parish Prison on May 6, 2015, about four months before the first inmates were transferred into the new Orleans Justice Center jail complex. Acting on a confidential tip, OPSO investigators questioned Robertson about whether he was smuggling marijuana, Hydrocodone pills and tobacco to inmates inside the facility.

Robertson gave written consent for a search of his vehicle, resulting in a seizure of contraband, and during his interview admitted to making six illicit deliveries to an inmate in March and April of 2015. Robertson said he was paid $500 for each delivery, but that he refused requests to smuggle a cellphone inside the jail.

“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.”

Robertson is due back in court June 12 for his first probation status hearing.

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.

Assistant District Attorney Darius Greene prosecuted the case.