ATLANTA, GA. - Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Charlie Stephens, age 76, Jeff Sivell, age unknown, and Alvin Malone, age 32, all certified law enforcement officers working for the Sheriff’s Department in Talbot County, Georgia, were charged in individual indictments for violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, Extortion By A Public Official. Arrest warrants were executed today on Stephens, Sivell and Malone.
An undercover operation conducted by federal agents revealed that the defendants were extorting money from individuals by wrongful use of actual and threatened force, violence, and fear, and under color of official right. The individuals from whom the defendants extorted money were actually undercover federal agents and persons cooperating with federal authorities.
The defendants each face a maximum penalty of a $250,000.00 fine or imprisonment of not more than twenty (20) years, or both along with five (5) years supervised release and a mandatory assessment fee of $100.00.
John S. Comer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “The vast majority of law enforcement officers serve the public with honor and distinction. 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. The success of this investigation would have not been possible without the dynamic level of law enforcement cooperation.”
The investigation was conducted by Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
An indictment is only an accusation, and the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.DEA AFD’s Acting SAC John S. Comer encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.