Dustin Robert Rust, 31, pleaded guilty to operating a security company without a license, a Class A misdemeanor; plus a second Class A misdemeanor charge of theft by a public servant during the same hearing in the 241st District Court.
Rust will lose his Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education License. To work as a licensed peace officer in Texas, an individual must have a current TCLEOSE license.
Judge Jack Skeen Jr. sentenced Rust to a year in the Smith County Jail on each charge, which was probated to two years probation on each charge. Rust will serve both sentences at the same time.
“He could possibly get the license back in 10 years,” Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said in court.
Included in the list of restrictions Rust must follow during his probation is that he must not possess a firearm or consume alcohol, Skeen said in court. Bingham also said the two misdemeanor convictions will remain on Rust's record.
Rust and his father, Donn Rust, who was a candidate for Smith County sheriff earlier this year, declined comment after the plea hearing. “I might have a comment to make in a couple of days after I get a chance to process all of this,” the senior Rust said in the hallway outside the courtroom.
Rust had been indicted on two counts of abuse of official capacity, a state jail felony; one count of theft by a public servant, a third-degree felony; and 10 counts of operating a security company without a license, a Class A misdemeanor.
Because Rust paid the $7,698 in restitution and resigned his position as Smith County constable, the third-degree felony theft charge originally brought against Rust was reduced to the Class A misdemeanor charge of theft by a public servant as a part of the plea agreement, Bingham said.
Because Rust pleaded guilty to one count of operating a security company without a license, the other pending nine counts against him on the same charge were consolidated into one count as part of the plea agreement, Bingham said.
“He was concerned about having 10 convictions on his record,” Bingham said in court.
Each charge of abuse of official capacity carries up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The third-degree felony theft, for allegedly using taxpayer dollars to illegally run a security business for benefit, carries up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Bingham said he wanted to thank Texas Ranger Brent Davis and Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Richard Brown for their work on the Rust case.