When a police officer needs more money and his gig with the Department isn’t pulling in enough income, they will regularly seek out security details or part time employment where their police training is seen as an asset. But, you wouldn’t think guarding drug deals would be a good employment opportunity. Ten former and current Atlanta area officers thought otherwise and are now facing federal charges.
The group of officers isn’t made up of trouble-makers on the force. One, for instance, was officer of the year for the Atlanta Police Department. Another was a community-respected former military man. But all used their badge to earn some extra cash in the metro-are drug underworld.
The investigation into these officers began when an informant told federal agents that some cops in the area were serving as bodyguards for drug deals. These cops would stand guard during large transactions to ensure the dealers wouldn’t be robbed or busted. In exchange, they would receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in compensation.
The feds subsequently launched an investigation, using informants to determine which officers would participate. Police officers from DeKalb County, Stone Mountain, Forest Park, Atlanta, and MARTA were all involved.
Most of the officers provided the guard duty while in uniform. Others even used their squad cars.
Drug deals involving multiple kilos of fake-cocaine would go down in public parking lots (grocery stores, schools, etc.) and the officer would patrol the area to ensure things were safe for the agents posing as dealers.
Agents decided to end the investigation when some of the officers began talking about having to shoot someone if the drug deal went bad. Several references to violent ends left the federal agents with no alternative than to arrest those officers they had already pulled in—10 of them in all.
These officers were veterans, some with more than a decade on the force. They were respected in their departments and within the communities they worked. But each had financial problems and the “side job” provided quick and easy cash.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that this was the largest and widest spread corruption scandal to rock the area in recent years. And that the case has not only embarrassed departments, but hurt feelings when other officers found out their colleagues were selling out their badges.
When you are caught by police, you can’t expect them to sympathize with your plight. The vast majority of them have only ever been on one side of the cuffs. But whether you are charged with a drug offense or even a gun charge, you need someone on your side. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and how we can help.