A former Georgia probation officer is facing a charge of extortion after federal prosecutors said he agreed to look the other way on certain conditions of parole in exchange for bribe payments.
Tyrique F. Williams, 28, of Atlanta, allegedly slipped a note to one parolee he was supervising that read “$3,000, no polygraph, no ankle bracelet, no supervision fee, yes or no?” The parolee reported him.
U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak announced the charge against Williams on Monday.
“Officers from Georgia’s Department of Community Supervision serve our citizens faithfully and honorably every day,” Pak said in a statement. “Williams, however, allegedly violated both his oath of office as a law enforcement officer and the law when he traded his integrity for money.”
According to prosecutors, Williams began managing the parolee in 2016, two years after he was first hired by the Department of Community Supervision. The parolee, who had previously served 14 years in prison for a sexual offense, completed a number of courses and treatment classes and never violated parole. But Williams allegedly told the parolee additional conditions and restrictions were needed, anyway.
Williams handed over the handwritten note about the $3,000 bribe on April 19, 2018, during a visit to the parolee’s home, prosecutors said. The parolee agreed but contacted the the FBI to report Williams soon after.
The FBI was recording when days later Williams and the parolee met at a Department of Community Supervision office in Decatur. During the meeting, prosecutors said Williams led the parolee to a secluded area and accepted $1,000 in cash. He also allegedly asked for an additional $3,500, and in exchange, he would not require the parolee to wear an ankle monitor or submit to a polygraph examination.
The two met up at a Stone Mountain fast-food restaurant on May 4, 2018, to make the exchange, and again the FBI recorded the meeting. Prosecutors said the parolee handed over the cash in the bathroom of the restaurant.
After Williams accepted payment, the parolee was not required to complete the conditions they agreed upon.
Racheal Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Supervision, called Williams’ alleged actions a disservice to the agency.
“DCS has zero tolerance for misconduct or illegal activity,” she said in a statement. “Despite the situation being unfortunate and regrettable, DCS was happy to assist in the investigation and will continue to partner with investigative authorities to remove the likes of Williams from our noble profession.”
Williams was charged by criminal information with one count of extortion as a public officer. A spokesman for Pak said defendants charged by criminal information typically plead guilty shortly after being arraigned.
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