Ten law enforcement officers are accused of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes in for exchange for protecting drug deals, according to a statement from the FBI. The officers were ultimately caught through drug deals staged and conducted by undercover investigators. Reports state that three police officers pled guilty in connection to the Georgia-based case.
Those who have pled guilty are former Police Officer Denoris Carter from Lithonia; former DeKalb County Police Officers Dennis Duren from Atlanta; and Dorian Williams from Stone Mountain. The FBI stated they were all fired from their positions in February 2013.
Court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas state, “Sophisticated drug trafficking groups distribute narcotics using a variety of covert methods that are designed to avoid detection by law enforcement and others. If detected, they are aware law enforcement will seize the drugs and money and arrest them…Given these risks, drug traffickers occasionally attempt to enlist law enforcement officers to provide protection for both them and the drug transactions they conduct.”
A criminal complaint claimed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms launched an investigation into an unnamed street gang during the summer of 2011. Around that time, federal officials got word that police officers were providing protection for drug deals happening in the area.
Federal agents subsequently concocted fake drug deals and asked gang members and their associates which officers could provide protection for the transaction. The undercover agents were referred to the defendants.
One criminal complaint, which was filed against defendant Denoris Carter, claimed that undercover federal agents carried out fake cocaine deals from April through September 2012. The disguised ATF agents paid Carter cash to protect them during five transactions in the metro Atlanta area. The transactions were audio and video recorded, according to court documents.
“For all five transactions, Carter was on duty and dressed in his police uniform,” the FBI press release said. “During one transaction, he drove up in his marked patrol vehicle, got out, and walked through the parking lot to keep watch over the purported drug deal. During the final transaction, Carter was on foot and wore a gun on his belt.”
“In communications leading up to and through [the transactions]…the drug involved and described to Denoris Carter was cocaine,” the criminal complaint added.
Duren and Williams were caught in similar undercover setups, involving staged cocaine deals, in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement, “The audacity of police officers protecting drug deals is shocking. For these police officers, protecting and serving our citizens was little more than a slogan, and their brazen actions are unacceptable. Brave and honest law enforcement officers go to work every day to keep us safe, expecting their colleagues to serve the community unselfishly. Instead, these officers put greed before all else.”
ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Ray Brown added, “These defendants took an oath to uphold the law and protect the citizens. Instead, they betrayed the community they swore to protect.”
The defendants are expected sentenced this summer, according to the FBI.
Breitbart Texas has reported on multiple incidents where public officials have become entangled in drug and cartel activity.
One recent report focused on Lupe Trevino, the former sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas who admitted to accepting money from a drug trafficker to finance his re-election campaign. The payments received by Trevino were paid in cash and totaled between $70,000 and $120,000.
“In a place like south Texas that is economically disadvantaged in many areas, it’s increasingly difficult for some public officials to turn away from the large amounts of money involved in the drug business,” Breitbart Texas’ Contributing Editor Sylvia Longmire said of the case.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate