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Court document details how FBI busted Bibb deputies | News

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Court document details how FBI busted Bibb deputies
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A federal court document tells how four former Bibb County deputies conspired to "rip off" two drug dealers, sell their drugs to another dealer and split the proceeds.

The plea agreement for Jermaine Hill also describes the eight-month FBI undercover "sting" investigation that led to their arrests.

It tells how undercover FBI agents played the roles of drug dealers, a pimp, prostitutes and even a tow-truck driver.

The FBI's narrative of the case also describes how they equipped several vehicles and a hotel room with audio and video recording devices. Hill himself also wore recording devices during the investigation, the document says.

Last week, U.S. Attorney Michael Moore and Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said Hill, Decarlo Lattimore, Arthur Howard and Jimmy Denson all faced federal corruption charges.

Hill signed the plea agreement July 10.

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He faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for stealing federal property and up to five years and a $250,000 fine for making false statements to investigators.

In his plea agreement, Hill agrees to plead guilty to those charges and cooperate with investigators. If he does, federal prosecutors said they would consider asking a judge to reduce Hill's sentence.

Federal officials say the FBI came to town last year after receiving a tip about crimes committed by local officers.They won't describe details.

But the plea agreement says the FBI started its investigation by targeting Hill.

Their description of the case:


Nov. 21, 2013:
The FBI placed a vehicle, a Mercedes SUV equipped with audio and video recording devices, on Joe Tamplin Blvd. in east Bibb.

They placed an envelope containing $1,000 cash inside the car.

The video camera showed Hill searching the car, finding the cash and putting it in his pocket.

When he wrote the incident report, Hill failed to mention the $1,000, the document says. The vehicle was towed away by an undercover agent posing as a tow-truck driver.


Jan. 3, 2014:
Interviewed by two FBI agents, Hill denied finding any money in the SUV.


Jan. 15, 2014:
When FBI special agent Stephen McLendon showed Hill video from the SUV, he admitted stealing the money and agreed to cooperate with investigations of other Bibb deputies.


Feb. 28:
Hill contacted Lattimore about "ripping off" a drug dealer, who had $2,000 in cash and a quarter kilogram of powder cocaine.

The dealer was actually an undercover agent.

Hill and Lattimore stopped the vehicle, searched it and took the money and the drugs.

Hill gave his partner $1,000, "which Lattimore received and hid in his boot."

The officers then told the dealer he could "go to jail or leave."

Hill and Lattimore then agreed to give the drugs to a dealer who would sell it. The two deputies agreed to take a portion of the proceeds.


March 20,
Hill then ran a similar "ripoff" of a drug dealer with Denson.

The two officers split $2,000 cash and agreed to split proceeds from the sale of his drugs.

Again, the dealer was actually an FBI agent.


June 19, 2014:
Hill and Howard met at a hotel with an alleged pimp and his two prostitutes -- actually all undercover agents.
The pimp "explained his need for protection in Bibb County," and Hill and Howard agreed to help him.

The agent laid out plastic bags containing cocaine powder on the table in front of the officers; "Howard sat next to the table and never mentioned the cocaine in plain view."

Howard discussed a drug investigation he was involved in and explained different types of law enforcement surveillance techniques. The pimp then paid Hill $300 and Howard $200.

Then he promised Howard "there would be more money coming in exchange for Howard's protection of the activity. Howard agreed."

According to Sheriff Davis, Hill resigned last month; Latttimore, Densmore and Howard were fired last week. Their case is scheduled for a court date before a federal judge next week.


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