briberyHear Sheriff Gerald Couch's statement on David M. Treadwell's charges.
A former Hall County deputy was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of accepting bribes and conspiring to possess and distribute marijuana.
David M. Treadwell, 33, of Gainesville allegedly accepted $200 or $300 from a person believed to be a drug dealer five times, according to acting U.S. Attorney John Horn, the charges and other information presented in court.
In exchange for the money, Treadwell agreed to tell the believed drug dealer if he or she was under investigation in Hall, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.
“When you have a seasoned deputy sheriff who makes the conscious choice to violate his oath of office and seek illegal financial gain, it must be dealt with expeditiously,” Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. “I will not tolerate this kind of criminal action and I am thankful for the duty-bound officers who brought these heinous activities to the forefront.”
Treadwell was terminated Friday morning, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes. He had been with the sheriff’s office since 2007, Bailes said, and worked previously at the Gainesville Police Department.
The indictment alleges that payments were made between September and December.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with help from the North Georgia Major Offenders Task Force that includes members of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, which assisted in the investigation.
Couch briefed members of the sheriff’s office this morning when Treadwell was terminated.
“The emotion and disgust in the room today was very heartfelt and full of disappointment,” Bailes wrote in a press release. “David violated the trust of the community and his fellow employees. The actions of David undermine the efforts of all law enforcement that honorably perform their duties.”
Treadwell was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Clay Fuller. Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. McKinnon Jr. is prosecuting the case.
“Allegations of public corruption at all levels is a priority concern to us at the FBI, but allegations involving a law enforcement officer offer additional challenges and concerns,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, in the news release. “The FBI, upon receiving such allegations in this case, worked aggressively with its law enforcement partners to quickly investigate those allegations and present that investigation to federal prosecutors.”