Four Macon-Bibb officers face federal charges | News
Four officers with the Macon-Bibb Sheriff's Office face federal criminal charges.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore and Sheriff David Davis made the announcement at a Friday-afternoon news conference.
Three of the officers were fired Friday: They are Decarlo Lattimore, Arthur Howard and Jimmy Denson.
A fourth officer resigned. He is Jermaine Hill.
The four are facing federal indictments for various charges, according to Moore.
He said the charges come after an undercover investigation of several months.
Davis called the news "bittersweet" -- sweet, he said, because the charges show that justice is working. He adds by saying, "We are not gonna tolerate wrongdoers among the public we serve, and I'm certainly not going to tolerate wrongdoers who are working in my office."
Moore added by saying, "In the hands of law enforcement, we count on them to be the buffer between the good guys and the bad guys, we count on them to wear the badge with honor and to live by the laws they enforce, and the vast majority of men and women who wear that badge and uniform do just that.
Special Agent with the FBI Carolton Peeples says, "The established code of conduct for law enforcement officers is not vague, it's not ill defined. These four officers representing the Bibb County Sheriff's Office whose average service with that department exceeded over 9 years not only understood their code of conduct and oath of office, but also understood that there were harsh consequences for violating that code and their oath."
According to Moore, the investigation started after federal authorities received a complaint about Hill being involved in illegal vehicles.
He said they planted $1,000 in an abandoned vehicle and made sure Hill got the call to respond.
Hill is accused of taking the $1,000 from an abandoned Mercedes and claiming there was no money in the vehicle.
He is accused of theft of government money and making a false statement.
The theft was allegedly captured on video.
After being caught, Hill allegedly cooperated with federal investigators in sting operations involving three follow officers.
According to the indictments:
Denson and Lattimore are accused of extorting $1,500 to obstruct federal commerce. The indictment does not explain. He faces one charge of attempted extortion under color of official right -- using their position as an officer for extortion.
Howard faces the same charge for attempting to extort $200.
All three cases involved a federal special agent -- identified in the indictments only as "D.D.A."
No trial date has been set yet.