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Posted: 6:33 p.m. Thursday, April 24, 2014

Former police officers plead guilty in federal drug case

By Michelle E. Shaw

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Three of 10 metro Atlanta law enforcement officers accused of using their guns, badges and authority to facilitate drug deals have pleaded guilty in federal court.

Former Stone Mountain Police Officer Denoris Carter, 43, of Lithonia, and former DeKalb County Police officers Dennis Duren, 33, of Atlanta, and Dorian Williams, 25, of Stone Mountain, each pleaded guilty this week to one count of attempted distribution of cocaine and one count of extortion by accepting a bribe to use his position as a police officer to facilitate a deal, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

All three officers were fired after their arrests in February 2013.

“The audacity of police officers protecting drug deals is shocking,” Yates said. “For these police officers, protecting and serving our citizens was little more than a slogan, and their brazen actions are unacceptable. “

The three former officers were part of a group of cops arrested in February 2013 by an FBI SWAT team for allegedly taking payoffs — some as low as $700 — to protect what they thought were cocaine deals taking place in crowded shopping centers and school parking lots. Five alleged accomplices also were arrested.

In 2012 and 2013, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives set up a series of stings and used an informant. The informant told gang members and their associates that he needed police protection for upcoming drug deals. Shannon Bass, 39, and Elizabeth Coss, 36, both of Atlanta, and Jerry B. Mannery, 39, of Tucker, provided the informant with names of police officers who would be willing to provide security for the illegal activity. All three entered guilty pleas this week, according to the news release.

Bass, who was a contact for Duren, pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of cocaine. Mannery, who was a contact for Carter and Williams, pleaded guilty to conspiring with the police officers to distribute cocaine. Coss pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of cocaine for her role in working with former MARTA police officer Marquez Holmes, who also was arrested in the 2013 sting, to provide security for a drug deal in August 2012.

Sentencing will likely happen this summer, prosecutors said.

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