July 22, 2011
Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell
Phone Number: (404) 893-7000
Former DeKalb Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges
Helped Conceal a Stolen Vehicle, Used His Police Computer for Criminal Purposes and Lied to Federal Agents
ATLANTA, GA. - Donald Bristol, 41, of Lilburn, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in federal district court on charges that while he was employed as a DeKalb County police officer, he helped others possess and hide a stolen vehicle, unlawfully accessed governmental information, and lied to federal agents.
John S. Comer, Acting Special Agent in (SAC) of the DEA Atlanta Field (AFD) stated, “This case is a reminder that law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard and are not above the law. This officer is not representative of the honest, hard working men and women in law enforcement who do not violate their oaths, but faithfully serve the public daily.”
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This defendant was a criminal in a police officer’s uniform. The evidence showed that during his tenure as a police officer, he violated the very laws that he had sworn to enforce - and then lied about it to federal agents.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Starting in April 2010, Bristol used his position as a DeKalb County Police Officer to help two separately-charged defendants hide the fact that the car they were using was stolen. Bristol also misused his access to a sensitive law enforcement database to provide his associates with information. When questioned about some of his activities, Bristol made numerous false statements to federal agents.
On May 25, 2011, Bristol was charged in a 10-count indictment. Today, Bristol pleaded guilty to aiding others to possess and hide a stolen vehicle, to unlawfully accessing governmental information, and to lying to federal agents. The most serious of the charges carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $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 October 18, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.. before United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the DeKalb County Police Department, and Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis is prosecuting the case.
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.