Update (4:00 p.m.): The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has released official comments on the sentencing of thirteen people involved in a scheme that saw law enforcement officers in the Atlanta provide protection for drug gangs and drug cartels.
“This case sent shock waves through Georgia law enforcement offices, both local and federal,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Certainly, these departments are filled with dedicated officers who literally risk their lives every day to make our communities safe. But this case revealed a troubling number of officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies who betrayed their oaths to protect and serve, taking cash from the very criminals they should have been arresting.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “While the sentences in this extensive law enforcement corruption matter ends the careers of those law enforcement and correctional officers involved, it can serve as an opportunity to those many other law enforcement officers and personnel to re-dedicate themselves to the oaths of office that they took when they accepted the badge. It also serves as a reminder to the public that the FBI remains responsive to such allegations of police misconduct and corruption and will investigate and present for prosecution those involved.”
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers serve the public with honor and distinction,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ray Brown of the Atlanta ATF Field Office. “Officers like these unfortunately tarnish the badge of the committed men and women of law enforcement. These individuals will now have to face the consequences for their deplorable actions. ATF will remain on the frontline of preventing violent crime through the dynamic level of law enforcement cooperation with our partners.”
According to prosecutors, an undercover investigation of allegations that Atlanta area police were protecting a local drug gang while in uniform began in August, 2011 following a tip from a cooperating individual who was associated with that gang.
The individual then used three civilians who provided the contact information of police officers who were willing to work with the drug gang to protect their drug deals in exchange for cash payments. These fake deals were recorded with video and audio by an undercover agent. The undercover investigation revealed the following:
-DeKalb County Police Department Officer Dennis Duren accepted $8,800 in exchange for protecting what he believed were four separate cocaine transactions in the Atlanta area between October and November, 2011. Duren was in uniform and carrying a weapon while performing these protection services.
-Another DeKalb police officer, Dorian Williams accepted $18,000 in exchange for protecting what he believed were three separate cocaine transactions between January and February 2013. He also wore his uniform and carried a gun during the deals.
-Stone Mountain Police Department Officer Denoris Carter accepted $23,500 to protect five supposed cocaine transactions in the Atlanta area. During four of the deals, Carter arrived in a patrol car and watched the transactions. During the fifth deal, Carter was on foot and was carrying a firearm.
-Atlanta Police Department Officer Kelvin D. Allen accepted $10,500 in exchange for protection of three separate cocaine transactions between June and August 2012. Allen was in uniform and was carrying a weapon for two of the tree transactions he was paid to protect.
-MARTA Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes accepted $9,000 to protect four supposed cocaine transactions between August and November, 2012. During two deals, Holmes arrived on foot in uniform and armed, and patrolled the area. During the other two deals, Holmes arrived in a MARTA Police cruiser and monitored the transactions.
-Forest Park Police Sergeant Victor Middlebrook accepted $13.800 for protecting four supposed cocaine deals, while he also patrolled during two more deals. During the deals, Middlebrook was dressed in street clothes but was armed.
-Monyette McLaurin, who was formerly employed at the DeKalb County jail but presented himself as an active duty DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy, accepted $12,00 to protect two supposed cocaine transactions in January, 2013. Duing the deals, McLaurin wore a DeKalb Sheriff’s Office uniform with a badge and gun. Another former jail employee posing as a deputy, Chase Valentine, protected a drug deal on Jan. 17, 2013.
-Gregory Lee Harvey posed as DeKalb County detention officer and protected two supposed cocaine deals in December, 2012. During the deals, Harvey wore a black shirt with “SHERIFF” printed on the back.
-Federal Protection Services contractor Sharon Peters was paid $14,000 for protecting two supposed cocaine transactions. During the deals, Peters parked her car near the deal and observed the proceedings.
-Alexander B. Hill presented himself as a Clayton County Police Department officer and accepted $9,000 for protecting three supposed cocaine deals. During the deals, Hill wore plain clothes but wore a badge during the first deal he protected.
-Non-law enforcement facilitator Jerry B. Mannery, Jr., introduced Carter and Peters to the informant contact, and coordinated ten sham drug deals those officers protected. Between April 2012 and February, 2013, Mannery received $30,000 for his services.
-Non-law enforcement facilitator Elizabeth Coss introduced Holmes and Williams to the informant contact, and coordinated five sham drug deals. For her services, Coss accepted $17,000.
Mannery, the last defendant to be sentenced, will spend the next four years in prison and the following three years on supervised release. Coss was sentenced to six months in prison, six months of house arrest, and five years of supervised release.
The sentences for the officers can be read in the original article.
Original Story (7:00 a.m.): An FBI investigation into Atlanta area police officers who were allegedly protecting drug dealers for a price is coming to a close with guilty pleas in front of a United States District Judge.
Ten former law enforcement officers who served in various departments in Fulton and DeKalb counties will be spending anywhere from one to nine years on the other side of the bars inside a federal prison, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Two civilians have also been sentenced for their roles in liaising between the crooked cops and the drug outfits.
According to the FBI, an informant tipped off the bureau about the possibility that police officers were being paid by drug dealers and drug cartels to protect illegal transactions. Investigators used an informant to begin a sting operation, which lured several dirty cops. Some of the officers even wore their uniforms and drove police vehicles while working for the crooks.
The sentenced former officers are as follows:
-Dennis Duren (DeKalb County Police Department), seven year sentence
-Denoris Carter (Stone Mountain Police Department), three year sentence
-Gregory Harvey (DeKalb County Sheriff Office), nine year sentence
-Monyette McLaurin (DeKalb County jail), six year sentence
-Victor Middlebrook (Forest Park Police Department), seven year sentence
-Alexander Hill (private security officer), five year sentence
-Kelvin Allen (Atlanta Police Department), five year sentence
-Marquez Holmes (MARTA Police), five year sentence
-Sharon Peters (Federal Protective Services), three year sentence
-Chase Valentine (DeKalb County jail), 33 month sentence
Civilian Elizabeth Cross was also sentenced to a year in prison. Jerry Mannery, Jr., another civilian facilitator of the scheme, has pleaded guilty to charges related to his activity and will be sentenced on Wednesday.