Former Talbotton, Georgia Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements in Drug Case
February 1 (Atlanta, GA) -- Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Michael Howard, age 43, former chief of police in Talbotton, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty to a one count indictment charging him with False Statements, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1001.
During his guilty plea, Howard admitted that on or about June 22, 2011, he did knowingly and willfully make a false, fraudulent, and fictitious material statement and representation to a federal agent by denying that he was aware that a known drug dealer had transported narcotics through Talbot County, Georgia. The informant told Howard he had $15,000.00 and would be traveling through Talbot County for a drug transaction, asking if Howard would be interested in helping him by providing cover. Howard expressed interest in the transaction, but declined due to the fact that he was off duty and not wearing his uniform, and therefore would not be of any assistance. Howard, however, told the FBI that he had not been shown the money, which was false and he knew the statement to be false.
John S. Comer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Atlanta Field Division stated, “The vast majority of law enforcement officers serve the public with honor and distinction. This type of activity tarnishes the badge of the committed men and women of law enforcement.”
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore stated that, “No one is above the law. The public trust that those who wear the badge uphold is sacred, and violations of that trust are inexcusable and will be prosecuted.”
The defendant faces a maximum penalty of a five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, or both, and up to three years supervised release, and a mandatory assessment fee of $100.00. Sentencing is scheduled for April 25, 2012.
The investigation was conducted by Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
John S. Comer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division 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.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.