WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A former Wyoming police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison for kidnapping a motorist in a plot to extort money from Wal-Mart, officials said.
Highway Patrol trooper Franklin Ryle Jr. pleaded guilty to federal charges that while on duty in January he falsely arrested and kidnapped a Wal-Mart truck driver. He intended to kill the driver then stage an accident with the truck that would either injure Ryle or kill Ryle's wife, the U.S. Justice Department said in a release Friday.
Ryle intended to then seek monetary damages from Wal-Mart, the department said. After attempting to involve his unwitting wife in the plan, Ryle abandoned the scheme and released the driver when he realized the truck was equipped with a GPS unit.
"This officer abandoned his law enforcement role and engaged in a bizarre scheme to target innocent victims for his own personal gain. Officers who abuse their power in this way will be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows," Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said.