Wyoming Highway Patrol calls alleged crimes "an aberration"

Laramie, WY – The Wyoming Highway Patrol's administrator is reassuring the public that the patrol is careful about who it hires and how it investigates possible misconduct. Sam Powell calls the alleged crimes of a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper an "aberration."

Franklin Ryle, now a former state trooper, is charged with planning to murder a Wal-Mart truck driver and to stage an accident with his patrol car to collect damages from the company. Powell says he understands that people hearing these allegations might be worried about their own safety if they're pulled over by a state trooper. "I can certainly understand why people would be concerned," he said, "but I want to remind the citizens of Wyoming that I have 206 other troopers who do a very difficult job under demanding circumstances, and they do it right."

Powell says the Patrol does huge numbers of traffic stops and arrests each year, and receives very few complaints. He says background checks on troopers include an evaluation by a mental health professional.