A federal grand jury indicted a former Gainesville resident on charges accusing him of buying and selling information to other inmates in prison, with instructions they use the knowledge to deceive prosecutors, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta said.
Sandeo Dyson, 47, was arraigned Friday on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and false statements for crimes prosecutors say happened between Feb. 20, 2008, and June 1, 2010, at the Atlanta City Detention Center.
Dyson, a former Army medic, is accused of securing information about crimes in Georgia and North Carolina from inmates and other sources.
He then sold that supposed knowledge to inmates with criminal cases in the U.S. District Court's Northern District of Georgia, attorneys said.
"This defendant was attempting to obstruct justice for a profit," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release.
At least four inmates purchased information "packages," according to the indictment, for $5,000-$10,000 each. Buyers were housed at the Atlanta detention center and Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility in Lovejoy and told to use the information with prosecutors as a way to reduce sentences, officials said.
Payouts to Dyson totaled $50,000 and were paid to him through his buyers' family members and friends who deposited funds into bank accounts belonging to cooperating inmates and associates, the indictment alleges.
Attempts to use the information were unsuccessful, the U.S. Attorney's Office said, with no inmate securing a sentence reduction.
The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Dyson is currently in federal custody for his role in a Jan. 1, 2007, fire at Club Onyx, an Atlanta strip club. He pled guilty to charges related to the arson in April 2008.
"Mr. Dyson's conduct, as alleged in the indictment, has landed him back in the defendant's chair and, as such, should serve as an example to others who would attempt similar such conduct," said Brian D. Lamkin, special agent in charge of the FBI's Atlanta Division, which is investigating the case.
No trial date has been set.