9 Metro Atlanta Police Officers Guilty of Protecting Major Drug Dealers

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Police corruption and suspected violations of individual rights appear to be on the rise around the country, particularly as it pertains to shooting and killing unarmed black men.

Their transgressions are not limited arbitrarily taking alleged innocent lives. A federal court in Atlanta found nine former police officers, from in and around the metro area, guilty for taking kickbacks in exchange for protecting major drug dealers and were sentenced to federal prison.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s attorney Sally Quillian Yates, agents from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)  learned that multiple police officers were providing protection during drug deal transactions during their investigation of street gangs in August 2011.

One of the alleged gang members cooperated with ATF and told them that the officers—while wearing uniforms, driving police vehicles, or otherwise displaying badges—provided security to the gang members during drug deals.

Three other individuals, while not law enforcement officers themselves, provided the cooperator with the names of police officers who wanted to provide security for drug deals.  Once these officers were identified, the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined ATF agents and arranged with the cooperator for the officers to provide security for drug transactions that were described in advance to involve the sale of multiple kilograms of cocaine.

The police officers, almost always wearing their uniform and displaying a weapon and occasionally in their police vehicles, patrolled the parking lots where the deals took place and monitored the transactions.  These transactions were audio and video recorded.

“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.”

Seven defendants who have been sentenced were active law enforcement officers during the time when they protected drug deals.  Once the officers were arrested in February 2013, they were fired and are no longer police officers.  All pleaded guilty before a federal judge.  Those sentenced were:

  • Kelvin Allen, 42, of Atlanta, Ga., an officer with the Atlanta Police Department, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Dennis Duren, 32, of Atlanta, Ga., an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Dorian Williams, 25, of  Stone Mountain, Ga., an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Victor Middlebrook, 44, of Jonesboro, Ga., a Forest Park Police Department Sergeant, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Marquez Holmes, 45, of Jonesboro, Ga., a MARTA  Police Department Officer, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Denoris Carter, 42, of  Lithonia, Ga., a Stone Mountain Police Department Officer, was sentenced to three years, one month in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release; and
  • Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43, of Lithonia, Ga., was sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.

Additionally, two former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office jail officers were also sentenced for providing protections for the purported drug deals:

  • Monyette McLaurin, 37, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced to six years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Chase Valentine, 44, of Covington, Ga., was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.

The non-police officers who were sentenced are:

  • Elizabeth Coss, 35, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced to six months in custody to be followed by six months of home confinement, and five years of supervised release;
  • Gregory Lee Harvey, 26, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Alexander B. Hill, 22, of Ellenwood, Ga., was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release; and
  • Jerry B. Mannery, Jr., 38, of Tucker, Ga., was sentenced to four years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

“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.”

 

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