Police departments across the metro Atlanta area are reeling after federal authorities indict ten cops on corruption charges.
The indicted ten were among 15 people indicted on federal charges Tuesday, accused of taking thousands of dollars to protect drug-dealing gang members from competitors and police.
“The breadth of the corruption here is very disturbing,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates, who called it the biggest police corruption case she or anyone in her office could remember.
The officers arrested on Tuesday were identified as: Atlanta Police Officer Kelvin Allen, 42, of Atlanta; DeKalb County Police Officers Dennis Duren, 32, of Atlanta and Dorian Williams, 25, of Stone Mountain; Forest Park Police Sergeants Victor Middlebrook, 44, of Jonesboro, and Andrew Monroe, 57, of Riverdale; MARTA Police Officer Marquez Holmes, 45, of Jonesboro; Stone Mountain Police Officer Denoris Carter, 42, of Lithonia; and contract Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43, of Lithonia.
Many of those arrested were on duty and in uniform. They were led away in handcuffs.
Agents also arrested two former law enforcement officers: former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office jail officers Monyette McLaurin, 37, of Atlanta, and Chase Valentine, 44, of Covington.
Others arrested were: Shannon Bass, 38, of Atlanta; Elizabeth Coss, 35, of Atlanta; Gregory Lee Harvey, 26, of Stone Mountain; Alexander B. Hill, 22, of Ellenwood; and Jerry B. Mannery, Jr., 38, of Tucker.
“Time after time,” Yates said, “They took cash from people they should have been arresting.”
In many cases, the officers are accused of providing security during drug deals, often in uniform, often in their patrol cars.
Yates said the investigation into police corruption stemmed from another probe by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into violent street gangs that began in 2011. During that investigation, one of the suspects told agents about the practice of using “dirty” law officers to provide security during drug transactions in the hopes of warding off other gangs who might hijack both the money and the drugs as well as other law officers who might be investigating the dealers themselves.
“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,” Yates said.
One suspect, Atlanta Police Officer Allen, a 20-year veteran, was an acquaintance of Police Chief George Turner.
“It’s absolutely horrendous,” Turner said. “If you look at this man, you would never think that he would do anything like this.”