Officials Say HCSO Deputy Played Lookout for Cops at Wife's Illegal Game Room

Another Harris County Sheriff's deputy has been fired this year — and no, it's not for having an inappropriate relationship with the key witness in the shooting of Deputy Darren Goforth.

Yesterday, police arrested former deputy Jose Ramirez for misuse of official information, which is a felony, after Ramirez was caught conducting random license plate checks outside his wife's game room so he could alert her if anyone coming inside was a police officer. Looks like that didn't work out too well for Ramirez.

Back in January, a Houston police officer with HPD's Vice Division received a complaint that Ramirez's wife, the manager of Airport Game Room, was illegally paying cash to customers who won a game on eight-liner gambling games called Pot-O-Gold, and that her husband was a sheriff's deputy playing lookout for undercover cops. So the next month, an undercover cop walked on in, played a few games — and checked with the Department of Public Safety to see if anyone, particularly Ramirez, had run a license plate check on his truck while he was inside. And sure enough, he had. Ramirez was using specific devices to access information that's unavailable to the general public and that is considered law enforcement-sensitive data, according to the complaint. Another officer came back in April to see if Ramirez would do it again. (He did.)

Looks like the license plate checks didn't really help out the business after all, because his wife has now been arrested too for illegal possession of a Pot-O-Gold gambling device.
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn