Updated: 6:07 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 | Posted: 11:46 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 | WSBTV.Com
Ten current and former law enforcement officers across several metro Atlanta agencies have been charged in an undercover police corruption investigation.
Federal agents from the FBI and ATF made most of the arrests Tuesday morning. Channel 2 Action News crews were at the FBI Atlanta office as several suspects were taken into custody. They are accused of taking thousands of dollars in payoffs to drug dealers.
“The breadth of the corruption here is very disturbing,” North Georgia U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said in a 2 p.m. news conference.
She said it all started with an investigation into an identified gang more than a year ago. A gang associate, working with law enforcement, put out word that the gang was in need of dirty cops.
“He got a lot of takers from police officers all over town,” Yates said.
The suspects are two DeKalb police officers, two Forest Park police officers, one Atlanta police officer, one Stone Mountain police officer, one MARTA police officer, two former DeKalb County deputies and one contract officer with the Federal Protective Services.
The investigation covers up to 50 transactions involving cocaine – the largest worth $7,000. Yates said officers face a slew of charges and performed various services, including providing escorts. Oftentimes, they showed up to the crimes in uniform, Yates said.
“Time after time, they took cash from people they should’ve been arresting,” Yates said.
The officers were identified as Atlanta Police Officer Kelvin Allen, 42, DeKalb County Police officers Dennis Duren, 32, and Dorian Williams, 25, of Stone Mountain, Georgia; Forest Park Police Sergeants Victor Middlebrook, 44, and Andrew Monroe, 57, MARTA Police Officer Marquez Holmes, 45, Stone Mountain Police Officer Denoris Carter, 42, and contract Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43. Agents also arrested former DeKalb County Sheriff’s jail officers Monyette McLaurin, 37, and Chase Valentine, 44.
Authorities do not believe they were necessarily working together.
Five non-law enforcement suspects were also targeted: 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. Their roles are unclear.
Channel 2 Action News began looking into the case after receiving a tip Monday night. Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne questioned one of the suspects as agents took him into custody Tuesday morning.
“Wasn’t me, brother,” the man said as he entered the FBI building.
Channel 2 Action News reporter Eric Philips tried to question Holmes as he was released on bond, but he remained silent.
Yates stressed that the alleged crimes don’t accurately represent law enforcement as a whole.
“It’s very important to remember that the vast major of police officers are honest, hardworking folks,” she said.