A former Booneville police officer has entered a plea of not guilty after being indicted on five counts of deprivation of civil rights by a federal grand jury.

Trial is set for July 19 in US Northern District Court in Oxford for former officer Dustin Rambo. He pleaded not guilty to all counts during a hearing on May 27 according to federal court records.

The indictment, filed May 7, lists five separate counts alleging Rambo, while acting under his authority as a police officer, violated the rights of individuals including one count in which he is accused of sexually assaulting the victim.

Count 1 states on or around May 10, 2020, Rambo secretly removed and stole cash from a suspect’s wallet during a search. Count 2 alleges on or about June 2, 2020, Rambo secretly removed and stole cash from a suspect’s backpack during a search. Count 3 alleges on or about December 2, 2020 Rambo secretly removed and stole cash from a suspect’s wallet during a search. Count 4 alleges on or about January 26, 2021, Rambo secretly removed and stole cash from a suspect during a search.

In count 5 of the indictment, the former officer is accused of grabbing and pulling a suspect into his police vehicle and driving her to a remote location where he allegedly violently forced her to perform a sex act. The alleged assault happened on or about Aug. 13, 2020.

Rambo was arrested March 12 by FBI agents.

Rambo’s employment was terminated Feb. 2 by the Booneville Board of Aldermen on the recommendation of Police Chief Michael Ramey who said at the time the termination was due to “conduct unbecoming a police officer.”

Ramey and Mayor Chris Lindley both issued statements at the time of Rambo’s arrest stating the police department began investigating Rambo’s conduct as soon as they were made aware of allegations and contacted the FBI. Both statements said the police department and the city cooperated fully with the FBI’s investigation.

Rambo has pleaded not guilty on all counts and an indictment is not a statement of guilt but only of the grand jury’s belief a crime was committed and enough evidence exists for the case to move forward.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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