News and Press Releases

Former Clayton County Police Officer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Public Corruption, Drug and Civil Rights Violations

January 17, 2012

Former Officer Exploited Position to Protect a Drug Deal and
Steal from Motorist

ATLANTA, GA - Former Clayton County Police Officer JONATHAN S. CALLAHAN, 28, of Fayetteville, Georgia, was sentenced to federal prison today by United States District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr., on charges of accepting bribes to use his law enforcement position to protect an illegal drug transaction and stealing personal property from a driver during a traffic stop.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “It is unthinkable that a citizen stopped by a police officer on our roads would become the victim of highway robbery at the hands of that officer.  But this corrupt police officer’s criminal conduct was not limited to that.  He also took a bribe from drug dealers and, in return, provided them with police protection.  For his own personal gain, this police officer-turned-felon disgraced the uniform proudly worn by so many other trustworthy law enforcement officers.”

Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The actions of this defendant clearly showed not only his willingness to assist in criminal activities but also a total disregard for the public trust.  This former officer will now answer for those actions. The FBI urges anyone with information regarding public corruption, to include law enforcement officials, to contact their nearest FBI office.”

Clayton County Police Department Chief Gregory Porter said, “The conviction of former Clayton County Police Officer Jonathan S. Callahan on federal charges is a testimony to the cooperative investigation efforts by the Clayton County Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Jonathan S. Callahan’s actions were that of a selfish individual and not reflective of this department. The Clayton County Police Department will continue to serve with honor, integrity, transparency and professionalism.”

CALLAHAN was sentenced to 5 years, 2 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.  CALLAHAN pleaded guilty to the charges on October 24, 2011.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On August 6, 2010, CALLAHAN, while working as a police officer, provided protection for an undercover transaction which he believed to be a drug deal involving at least a kilogram of cocaine.  CALLAHAN agreed to be present to protect the drug deal in exchange for a cash payment of $1000.00.  During the drug deal, CALLAHAN was on duty, in uniform and in his marked police vehicle. CALLAHAN's participation in the apparent drug transaction formed the basis for his drug and public corruption convictions.

Federal investigators became aware of CALLAHAN’s wrongdoing after he stole two firearms from a motorist he had stopped for a traffic violation on July 15, 2010.   Stealing the firearms violated the driver’s constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable seizure by a police officer and this conduct formed the basis for CALLAHAN’s civil rights conviction.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI.

Assistant United States Attorneys Brent Alan Gray and Phyllis Clerk prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is




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