ATLANTA – A Fulton County sheriff’s deputy faces federal charges for allegedly offering armed protection to drug dealers.
Anthony C. Atwater, 32, of Atlanta, was indicted on corruption, drug, and firearm charges, the FBI announced Friday. “In exchange for cash payments (Atwater) allegedly provided protection for drug deals,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement.
Authorities say Atwater twice provided armed protection during cocaine deals in exchange for $4,000 in cash. Atwater was arrested Friday morning during roll call, Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson said in a statement.
“He chose to protect suspected drug dealers rather than protect the public,” Yates said. “This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and prosecute corrupt public officials at all levels of government who abuse their positions to line their own pockets.”
Atwater pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Russell Vineyard on Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Fulton County authorities were aware of the federal investigation since January, Jackson said.