News and Press Releases

Nine Law Enforcement Officers Sentenced for Protecting Drug Dealers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2014

ATLANTA – Thirteen defendants, including nine former police officers, have been sentenced to federal prison this week for accepting thousands of dollars in cash payments to provide protection during staged drug deals that were part of a federal undercover operation.  

“This case sent shock waves through Georgia law enforcement offices, both local and federal,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Certainly, these departments are filled with dedicated officers who literally risk their lives every day to make our communities safe.  But this case revealed a troubling number of officers from a variety of law enforcement agencies who betrayed their oaths to protect and serve, taking cash from the very criminals they should have been arresting.”   

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “While the sentences in this extensive law enforcement corruption matter ends the careers of those law enforcement and correctional officers involved, it can serve as an opportunity to those many other law enforcement officers and personnel to re-dedicate themselves to the oaths of office that they took when they accepted the badge. It also serves as a reminder to the public that the FBI remains responsive to such allegations of police misconduct and corruption and will investigate and present for prosecution those involved.”

“The vast majority of law enforcement officers serve the public with honor and distinction,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ray Brown of the Atlanta ATF Field Office. “Officers like these unfortunately tarnish the badge of the committed men and women of law enforcement.  These individuals will now have to face the consequences for their deplorable actions.  ATF will remain on the frontline of preventing violent crime through the dynamic level of law enforcement cooperation with our partners.”

Seven defendants who have been sentenced were active law enforcement officers during the time when they protected drug deals.  Once the officers were arrested in February 2013, they were fired and are no longer police officers.  All pleaded guilty before a federal judge.  Those sentenced were:

  • Kelvin Allen, 42, of Atlanta, Ga., an officer with the Atlanta Police Department, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Dennis Duren, 32, of Atlanta, Ga., an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Dorian Williams, 25, of  Stone Mountain, Ga., an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Victor Middlebrook, 44, of Jonesboro, Ga., a Forest Park Police Department Sergeant, was sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Marquez Holmes, 45, of Jonesboro, Ga., a MARTA  Police Department Officer, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Denoris Carter, 42, of  Lithonia, Ga., a Stone Mountain Police Department Officer, was sentenced to three years, one month in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release; and
  • Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43, of Lithonia, Ga., was sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.

 

Also sentenced this week were two defendants who were former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office jail officers at the time they protected the purported drug deals:

  • Monyette McLaurin, 37, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced to six years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release; and  
  • Chase Valentine, 44, of Covington, Ga., was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.

 

Also sentenced were four defendants who were not law enforcement officers, but who participated in the drug transactions:

  • Elizabeth Coss, 35, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced to six months in custody to be followed by six months of home confinement, and five years of supervised release;
  • Gregory Lee Harvey, 26, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was sentenced to nine years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Alexander B. Hill, 22, of Ellenwood, Ga., was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release; and
  • Jerry B. Mannery, Jr., 38, of Tucker, Ga., was sentenced to four years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.

           
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court:  The undercover operation arose out of an ATF investigation of an Atlanta, Ga., area street gang in August 2011.  ATF agents learned from an individual associated with the gang that police officers were involved in protecting the gang’s criminal operations, including drug trafficking crimes.  According to this cooperating individual, the officers—while wearing uniforms, driving police vehicles, or otherwise displaying badges—provided security to the gang members during drug deals. 

Three individuals, while not law enforcement officers themselves, provided the cooperator with the names of police officers who wanted to provide security for drug deals.  Once these officers were identified, FBI and ATF agents arranged with the cooperator for the officers to provide security for drug transactions that were described in advance to involve the sale of multiple kilograms of cocaine.  The police officers, almost always wearing their uniform and displaying a weapon and occasionally in their police vehicles, patrolled the parking lots where the deals took place and monitored the transactions.  These transactions were audio and video recorded.

Specifically, the undercover investigation included the following transactions:

DeKalb County Police Department

Dennis Duren.  Between October 2011 and November 2011, then DeKalb County Police Officer Dennis Duren provided protection for what he believed were four separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.  Duren and a co-defendant accepted cash payments totaling $8,800 for these services.  During the transactions, Duren was dressed in his DeKalb County Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt, as he patrolled on foot in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place.  Duren pleaded guilty to one of those deals, which occurred on November 1, 2011.    

Dorian Williams. Between January and February 2013, then DeKalb County Police Officer Dorian Williams provided protection for what he believed were three separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   Williams and his co-defendant accepted cash payments totaling $18,000 for these services.  During the transactions, Williams was dressed in his DeKalb County Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt, and he patrolled the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place in his DeKalb Police vehicle.  Williams pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on January 28, 2013.     

Stone Mountain Police Department

Denoris Carter.  Between April and September 2012, then Stone Mountain Police Officer Denoris Carter provided protection for what he believed were five separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For these services, Carter and his co-defendant accepted cash payments totaling $23,500.  For all five transactions, Carter wore his Stone Mountain Police uniform.  In four of the deals, he arrived in his police cruiser and either patrolled or parked in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and watched the transactions.  During the final transaction in September 2012, Carter was on foot, displaying a firearm in a holster on his belt, and walked through the parking lot in which the transaction took place while watching the participants.  Carter pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on September 20, 2012. 

Atlanta Police Department

Kelvin D. Allen.  Between June and August 2012, then Atlanta Police officer Kelvin D. Allen provided protection for what he believed were three separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   Allen and his co-defendant accepted cash payments totaling $10,500 for their services.  For two transactions, Allen dressed in his Atlanta Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt.  Allen patrolled on foot in parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and appeared to be monitoring the transactions.  Allen pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on July 6, 2012.

MARTA Police Department

Marquez Holmes.  Between August and November 2012, then MARTA Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes provided protection for what he believed were four separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For these services, Holmes and a co-defendant accepted cash payments totaling $9,000.  During the transactions, Holmes was dressed in his MARTA Police uniform and carried a gun in a holster on his belt.  In two of the transactions, Holmes patrolled on foot in the parking lots in which the undercover sales took place and monitored the transactions.  During the other two deals, Holmes drove to the site in his MARTA police cruiser and parked next to the vehicles in which the undercover drug sale took place. Holmes pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on November 8, 2012.

Forest Park Police Department

Victor Middlebrook.  Between October to December 2012, then Forest Park Police Sergeant Victor Middlebrook provided protection for what he believed were six separate drug deals in the Atlanta area, each involving multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For his services in the first four transactions, Middlebook accepted cash payments totaling $13,800.  During these transactions, Middlebrook wore plain clothes, but displayed his badge and a firearm in a holster on his belt.  He patrolled on foot in the parking lots nearby the vehicles in which the undercover sales took place and appeared to be monitoring the transactions.  Middlebrook pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on December 7, 2012.

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

Monyette McLaurin.  In January 2013, former DeKalb County Sheriff Jail Officer Monyette McLaurin provided protection for what he believed were two separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.  For his services, McLaurin and a co-defendant were paid $12,000 in cash.  During a meeting to discuss future drug transactions, McLaurin falsely represented that he was a deputy employed by the DeKalb Sheriff’s office, even though his position as a jail officer ended in 2011. During the two transactions McLaurin was dressed in a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office uniform with a badge, and he carried a gun in a holster on his belt.  McLaurin pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on January 3, 2013.

Chase Valentine.  In January 2013, former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Jail Officer, Chase Valentine, helped McLaurin and another co-defendant, Gregory Lee Harvey, provide security for what he believed were drug deals.  Like McLaurin, Valentine falsely represented himself to be a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy, even though his position as a jail officer ended in 2010.  Valentine provided security for one undercover drug transaction on January 17, 2013, during which he wore a DeKalb Sheriff’s Office uniform and a pistol in a holster on his belt.  Valentine pleaded guilty to that one deal, which occurred on January 17, 2013.

Gregory Lee Harvey.  In December 2012, Harvey falsely represented that he was a DeKalb County detention officer and protected what he believed were two multiple kilogram deals of cocaine while wearing a black shirt with the letters “SHERIFF” printed across the back.  After this, Harvey stated that he knew other police officers who wanted to protect drug deals, and in January 2013 he introduced McLaurin as one of these officers.  Harvey protected a total of seven separate transactions and pleaded guilty to one transaction, which occurred on December 17, 2012.

Federal Protective Services

Sharon Peters.  In November 2012, Sharon Peters, who was then a contract officer for the Federal Protective Services provided protection for what she believed were two separate transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   For these services, Peters and a co-defendant accepted cash payments totaling $14,000.  For both transactions, Peters parked her vehicle nearby the cars where the sham drugs and money were exchanged, and watched the transactions.  Peters pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on November 19, 2012.

Imposter Clayton County Police Officer

Alexander B. Hill.  Between December 2012 and January 2013, Alexander B. Hill falsely represented himself to be an officer with the Clayton County Police Department while providing security for what he believed were three separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine.   During an initial meeting, Hill wore a uniform that appeared to be from Clayton Police, but during the transactions he wore plain clothes and, for at least the first deal, a badge displayed on his belt.  For these services, Hill received payments totaling $9,000 in cash.  Hill pleaded guilty to one of those deals that occurred on December 20, 2012.

The Recruiters

Jerry B. Mannery, Jr.  Mannery never presented himself as a law enforcement officer, but he introduced corrupt officers Carter and Peters to the informant, and coordinated the drug deals that those officers’ protected.  Mannery, along with one or more corrupt law enforcement officer, provided security for what he believed were ten separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. For these services, Mannery and his co-defendants received payments totaling over $30,000 in cash.  Mannery pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy for deals occurring between April 9, 2012 and February 1, 2013.  

Elizabeth Coss.  Like Mannery, Coss never presented herself as a law enforcement officer, but instead introduced corrupt officers Holmes and Williams to the informant.  Coss, along with one of the two corrupt law enforcement officers, provided security for what she believed were five separate drug transactions in the Atlanta area that involved multiple kilograms of cocaine. For these services, Coss and her co-defendants received payments totaling over $17,000 in cash.  Coss pleaded guilty to one drug deal that occurred on August 15, 2012.       

These cases were investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant United States Attorneys Kim Dammers and Brent Alan Gray prosecuted these cases.

            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 home page for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.

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