FBI: Milwaukee firefighter, fugitive arrested in Montana

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MILWAUKEE -- The FBI Milwaukee Division's Child Exploitation Task Force, in cooperation with the Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD), announced on Saturday, February 18th it has arrested and charged 44-year-old Robert Rutley, a Milwaukee firefighter. He was taken into custody in Montana -- and is now charged with Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography.

Robert Rutley

Robert Rutley

The arrest comes after the execution of a federal search warrant at Engine House 29 on Milwaukee's southwest side.fire-station-29

A news release from the FBI says after a forensic review of evidence seized during the search warrant on Monday, February 13th, a federal arrest warrant was obtained for Rutley, one of the firefighters assigned to that engine house. Rutley apparently fled the area.

During the follow-up investigation, the FBI determined Rutley was in Montana.

The FBI coordinated with the Montana Highway Patrol and on Friday, February 17th, Rutley was taken into custody without incident following a traffic stop in Big Horn County, Montana.

This is not the firefighter's first time in trouble. Back in 2013, Rutley was one of several firefighters accused of vandalizing Engine House 32. A report on the vandalism described damaged drywall, a dead mouse inside a locker and feces in a floor drain.

Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing addressed the problem at the time.

"That shouldn't be happening in our organization," said Rohlfing.

The two firefighters suspected of being the instigators immediately retired. Two more who were on probationary status were fired. Others, like Rutley, were served with suspensions. He was also moved to another engine house.

Now more than three years later, the allegations are much more serious.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.



    Traffic stop eh? Either the idiot (as all criminals are) was driving his own car -or a rental that he signed for- and was probably speeding why he got pulled over…. Maybe we’ll hear more on the details in upcoming news.
    Glad the ChesterMolester sicko freak got caught-Sorry he brought bad light to the Heros that REALLY protect us. and his firehouse. Hope he gets Bubba in his jailcell.

    • Matt

      I take it you didn’t read the article, but instead skipped to the comments section? It mentions his previous troubles.

  • Overwatch

    Wow. Hope you never need help. But then you’re the type that wouldn’t say that to any of their faces. #keyboardwarrior, #idareyou

  • Mom of 4 blessings

    You really have no clue! You are a complete jerk for that statement! These men/women go through a ton of training and work hard to be able to do the job they do. I know first hand because my husband is a Lt. and he is continually learning to better himself to be able to help others to the best of his abilities.
    These are the men/women who run toward danger when called while low-lifes like you run away. These guys do this job because they love the job, like helping people and making a difference in their communities. You, sir, are the a-hole or making such a comment.
    The guys arrested does NOT represent the fire service at all.

  • Requesting accountability

    If convicted of these charges can only hope he will not be able to collect any benefits.
    In reference to those that have made sick comments about fd – hope they never need help. First in and last out as in 9/11.

  • Matt

    I didn’t hear about the other thing. 2 guys retire, 2 get fired, one gets suspended and relocated. Sounds like we got some messed up people on all levels. This, though has to be at the top of the most disgusting things a person can do. I know it doesn’t mention it, but I hope he wasn’t in any youth programs or have a family. Supposed to be someone to look up to. He makes the good ones look bad.

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