A former Murrieta police detective pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge of soliciting bribes from a Colombian art dealer in exchange for immigration benefits in the U.S., officials said Friday.

Paul John Gollogly, 74, of Temecula, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Gollogly began working with the Police Department in March 2013 to lead its money laundering program, during which he handled and directed confidential informants, including non-U.S. citizens who needed authorization from the U.S. government to enter and work in the country.

In April of that year, Gollogly registered a man identified in court as “Person A” as a CI with the Police Department. That person was a Colombian national a wealthy art dealer who had “significant business interests” in his home country, the U.S., Panama and Spain, officials said.

He also owned art galleries in New York and Spain as well as a hotel in Mexico, officials said.

While previously employed in Florida, Gollogly had registered Person A as a CI with a police department there. Person A was not a U.S. citizen nor had legal permanent resident status.

Between April 2013 to February 2020, Gollogly helped Person A obtain various immigration benefits, including authorization from the Department of Homeland Security to allow him to work in the U.S. for a year at a time and attempted to help with his residency application, officials said.

Additionally, Gollogly wrote letters of support to DHS for Person A’s approvals to enter the U.S.

On at least 25 occasions, Person A texted Gollogly to inform him of his arrival in the U.S., including his arrival date, location and flight information in case he got held up at a port if entry.

At least five times Gollogly drove to the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the Mexico-U.S. border to facility Person A’s reentry into the U.S.

In exchange for help with immigration officials, Gollogly solicited and received benefits from Person A that included:

  • Receiving tickets to art shows in New York and Miami
  • Hiring Gollogly’s family friend to work at one of Person A’s businesses and making efforts to help a Gollogly relative secure a job with a major philanthropist, whom Person A knew personally
  • Arranging for hotel stays for two close Gollogly relatives and another Gollogly friend at Person A’s hotel in Mexico, including one July 2014 stay in which – at Gollogly’s request – Person A had wine and flowers inside the hotel room of one of the close relatives
  • Paying four months’ rent in 2018 and 2019 for a Gollogly relative who was living in New York City
  • Paying for dinner at an upscale New York restaurant for Gollogly and four of his relatives in December 2019

Gollogly is scheduled to be sentenced in January and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Prosecutors have agreed to seek no more than 18 months imprisonment, officials said.

The FBI investigated this case, with help from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility.