Friday, September 3, 2010

Former Atlanta Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Public Corruption and Drug Trafficking Charges

LUCIUS T. SOLOMON, III, 31, of Atlanta, formerly an officer with the Atlanta Police Department, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal district court to corruption and drug charges.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Instead of protecting and serving the people of this community from the scourge of the illegal drug trade, this former police officer took money to protect the very drug dealers he had sworn to pursue and arrest. There is no greater breach of a police officer’s oath than to actively participate in criminal conduct that so powerfully harms the community.”

Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Office, stated, “Public corruption investigations are a high priority at the FBI given that the potential for damage and discredit to law enforcement is very high. While these corruption cases are a serious breach of the public trust, it should be noted that the vast majority of those working within law enforcement fully understand their oaths and reflect often on their commitment to public service.”

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner added, “The public simply must have confidence in its police officers. While I believe this incident is not indicative of the vast majority of hardworking, honest and dedicated officers out there on the streets of Atlanta day in and day out—it does send a strong message to those who would stray from their mission to uphold and enforce the law.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On three occasions in 2009 and 2010, SOLOMON provided protection for what he believed to be multi-kilogram cocaine deals. For each deal, SOLOMON agreed to protect the people he thought were drug dealers in exchange for $2,000. On two of those occasions, SOLOMON was on duty, in uniform, and in his marked police vehicle when he provided the protection. SOLOMON’s participation in each of these three drug transactions forms the basis for both the corruption and the drug charges.

SOLOMON was indicted in March 2010; he pleaded guilty today to corruption and drug offenses and could receive a maximum of 20 years in prison on the corruption charge, and a maximum of life imprisonment on the drug charge. SOLOMON faces fines of up to $4,250,000. 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.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 9, 2010, at 9:30 a.m., before United States District Judge Richard W. Story.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the FBI and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division and the Atlanta Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey Brown, Elizabeth Hathaway, and Zahra Karinshak are prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following website:

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