The indictment alleges that Autry had not confirmed there was heavy traffic in and out of the residence, as stated in a warrant application supplied to a magistrate judge. Based on that information, a “no-knock” search warrant for the residence and an arrest warrant for Wanis Thonetheva., who allegedly sold the methamphetamine, was obtained.
The raid was executed two hours earlier. Thonetheva was arrested later that day at his residence, without incident. He was arrested again in April on separate charges.
Autry was forced to resign. What motivated her to allegedly lie remains unclear.
Lawyers for the sheriff and the other officers denied that “false and misleading information was used in the search warrant application” even after a Habersham grand jury found that to be the case.
No one was charged by the grand jury, which still criticized the raid, calling it “hurried and sloppy.”
Federal prosecutors launched their investigation last October.
In April, Habersham County Commission Chairwoman Andrea Harper announced the county had settled with the family for $964,000.
“Over the last few months the Board of County Commissioners has sought a way to bring some measure of closure to this matter while doing what is right, both for the Phonesavanh family and the law enforcement officers involved,” Harper said. “For that reason we have reached a limited settlement with the Phonesavanhs that allows for a payment to them in exchange for protection of the officers and the county.”
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