A federal police corruption investigation led to the arrests of a number of officers.
Ten current and former law enforcement officers in metro Atlanta have been accused of working for cocaine dealers. U.S. Attorney Sally Yates says the officers have been charged with accepting thousands of dollars in cash to provide protection during drug deals.
They include one officer from the Atlanta Police Department, two officers from the DeKalb County Police Department, two Sergeants from the Forest Park Police Department, one MARTA Police Department officer, one officer from the Stone Mountain Police Department and one contract officer from the Federal Protective Services.
Agents also arrested one former officer from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and two jail officers from DeKalb County.
Five civilians were also arrested. One falsely claimed to be an officer with the Clayton County Police Department.
The undercover operation began with an ATF investigation of an Atlanta area street gang in August of 2011. ATF agents learned from someone associated with the gang that police officers were helping protect the gang’s criminal operations. The informant said the officers, while wearing uniforms, and sometimes driving police vehicles, provided security to the gang members during drug deals.
US Attorney Sally Yates says there had been conversations about the officers using force if needed to protect the drug dealers. But she says there’s no evidence the protection resulted in violence.
The ATF and FBI had the informant tell gang members that he sought police protection for upcoming drug deals. They gave him the names of police officers interested in providing security.
Yates says the officers, usually in uniform and displaying a weapon, occasionally in their police vehicles, patrolled parking lots where cocaine deals took place.
Yates says “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. They not only betrayed the citizens they were sworn to protect, they also betrayed the thousands of honest, hardworking 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.”