The fallout continued among local law enforcement agencies Wednesday after 10 metro Atlanta police officers were charged with taking bribes in exchange for protecting drug dealers.
Federal indictments said the officers were in their patrol cars wearing their uniforms, with their department-issued guns in plain sight, as drug dealers flooded the streets of Atlanta with cocaine.
"When the cooperator put the word out on the street that he needed dirty cops to protect his drug deals, he got a lot of takers from police officers all across town," said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates.
"Remarkably, one of the police officers actually suggested that future drug deals be conducted in the parking lot of a local high school so they could exchange backpacks there, and that exchange of backpacks wouldn't be something that caused suspicion," Yates explained during a news conference Tuesday.
Yates said DeKalb County police Officers Dennis Duren and Dorian Williams, Forest Park police Sgts. Victor Middlebrook and Andrew Monroe, Atlanta police Officer Kelvin Allen , Stone Mountain police Officer Denoris Carter, MARTA police Officer Marquez Holmes, former DeKalb County Sheriff's Office jail Officers Monyette McLaurin and Chase Valentine and Federal Protection Services contract Officer Sharon Peters were arrested Tuesday.
DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown said he was concerned two of his former deputies were arrested and may have been wearing official uniforms and carrying real badges, despite the fact they had not worked for the sheriff's office for years.
"It is a concern if that badge is still out there and he's using it for illegal activity," said Brown.
He said he is working with the U.S. Attorney's Office to obtain more details.
"You're supposed to turn in shirt for shirt, pants for pants," said Brown. "That's not always followed to the letter."
Yates said the officers took thousands in payouts for their work with single transactions anywhere from a few thousand dollars to as high as $7,000.
"This is a troubling day for law enforcement in our city. The law enforcement officers charged today sold their badges by taking payoffs from drug dealers that they should have been arresting," Yates said. "They not only betrayed the citizens they were sworn to protect, they also betrayed the thousands of honest, hard-working law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. We will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to pursue this corruption wherever it lies."
The officers were charged with numerous crimes including assisting with drug trafficking, receiving illegal payouts and using firearms during the commission of a crime.
Allen is a 20-year veteran with the Atlanta Police Department. The Zone 6 patrol officer was immediately removed from duty following his arrest.
"It is absolutely horrendous," said Atlanta police Chief George Turner. "If you look at this man you would never think he would do anything like this. We will not stand for any officers stepping on the other side of the law."
Turner said another officer who has been on the force for three years is also under investigation by federal agents for using his position as an officer to protect drug dealers. The officer's name was not released because Turner said the federal indictment has been sealed.
Investigators said McLaurin went so far as to suggest shooting another drug purchaser if the deal went awry.
Brown said his department is now launching an investigation into how McLaurin and Valentine kept their uniforms and gained access to new badges or still had their old ones.
Five other people were arrested in connection with the case, including Elizabeth Coss and Shannon Bass of Atlanta, Gregory Lee Harvey of Stone Mountain, Alexander B. Hill of Ellenwood and Jerry B. Mannery Jr. of Tucker.
"We've always been transparent," said Brown. We've always cleaned our own house. We're always about doing what we do best and that's protect and serve."
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:07 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:07:55 GMT
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening. "It hit me hard because this was like another family to me," saidMore >>
Praying and singing through their grief, dozens of people remembered the lives of Roosevelt, Edna and Russell Jones Thursday evening.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:53:59 GMT
An Aiken County man is in the hospital after being hit by a car in an alleged domestic dispute.The Aiken County Sheriff's Office received a call just after 7:30pm Thursday evening about a pedestrian beingMore >>
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Thursday, May 23 2013 3:16 PM EDT2013-05-23 19:16:52 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
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Thursday, May 23 2013 8:10 AM EDT2013-05-23 12:10:07 GMT
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:34:56 GMT
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Susan Swanson owns the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center on Broad Street. There is a two hour limited parking sign in front of her company but she says no one enforces it.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:20:40 GMT
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night. The vigil for Roosevelt Jones, Edna Jones and their son Russell JonesMore >>
A vigil for the family members killed in a suspected triple homicide was held at the Augusta Deliverance Evangelical Church Wednesday night.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:42 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:42:44 GMT
It's been two days since a tornado ripped through Moore, Ok nearly destroying the town along with two schools; now one local school is re-evaluating their safety plans. Even though it's the last weekMore >>
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:39:09 GMT
Mobility, the company that runs Augusta's Public Transit, is now suing the city after the Richmond County Commission voted to terminate their five year contract. Mobility's attorney Robert Mullins toldMore >>
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