Former Reserve Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Tipping Off Drug Dealers to FBI Search Warrant
ATLANTA – Former Clarkston Reserve Police Officer Gabriel Hoskins, 40, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to tipping off two suspected drug dealers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation intended to execute a search warrant on their home.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “The integrity of law enforcement is critically important to all law-abiding citizens. Although the vast majority of police officers serve and protect their communities honorably, this police officer’s criminal betrayal placed his fellow law enforcement officers at risk when he alerted suspected drug dealers that a federal search warrant was about to be executed.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Interfering with a federal investigation is a serious offense in and of itself, but when the individual is part of the law enforcement community, it rises to another level. The FBI will continue to aggressively identify, investigate, and put forward for prosecution those individuals who would betray the public’s trust as this defendant did in this case.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Hoskins worked as a Clarkston Reserve Police Officer and part-time security guard for an apartment complex in Atlanta. He also served as a DeKalb County Police Officer until November 2010.
In June 2011, while working as a security guard in the apartment complex, he encountered a United States Postal Inspector who asked about the occupants of an apartment located in the complex. After learning Hoskins was a Clarkston Reserve Police Officer, the Postal Inspector confided to him that federal agents were planning to execute a search warrant on the apartment because law enforcement believed the occupants were drug dealers.
Later that day, Hoskins alerted the suspected drug dealers that federal agents planned to raid the apartment soon and encouraged them to clear everything out. Because one of the drug dealer’s telephone was tapped, agents soon learned Hoskins had tipped them off to the search. To test whether it was Hoskins, the FBI had the Postal Inspector return to the complex and falsely inform Hoskins that they had been looking for the previous occupants of the apartment, so no search would be necessary. Later that same day, on the tapped telephone, Hoskins notified the drug dealers the FBI actually did not intend to execute a search warrant at all.
When confronted by Special Agents with the FBI, Hoskins admitted he had notified the suspected drug dealers about the search warrant. He said that in February or March, 2011, he pawned his .40 caliber handgun to one of the drug dealers in exchange for $500. Hoskins said he was nervous that if law enforcement found the gun inside the apartment, he would get in trouble and lose his police officer certification. Hoskins related that after the Postal Inspector left, he called one of the drug dealers to tell him about the search in an effort to get his gun back.
Hoskins is no longer employed by the Clarkston Police Department.
Hoskins pleaded guilty to one count of providing notice of a search warrant to prevent the seizure of evidence. He could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Hoskins was indicted in January 2012.
The sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
This case is being investigated by the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Kurt R. Erskine is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.