A former Essex County Sheriff's officer who stole $70 from an apartment he and his canine partner had searched for drugs has been sentenced to three years in prison.
George Ruiz must serve two years of the term imposed Friday before he becomes eligible for parole. He had been convicted of official misconduct for stealing the money in March 2011.
A 12-year veteran of the sheriff's department, Ruiz was called to an Irvington apartment building to help execute a search warrant.
Before he arrived, two officers had searched the apartment's bedroom and found $70 in cash. But after Ruiz completed his search, officers re-entered the room and discovered the money missing.
All officers on scene were asked to empty their pockets, and the money was found in Ruiz' possession.
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