ATLANTA — A former Metro Atlanta lawman faces up to five years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of unlawfully accessing government databases and tipping off drug dealers to a pending federal search warrant.
Gabriel Hoskins III, 39, of Atlanta, a former DeKalb County police officer and reserve officer with the Clarkston Police Department, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
In June 2011, while working as a security guard in the apartment complex, he encountered a United States Postal Inspector who asked about the occupants of an apartment located in the complex. After learning Hoskins was a Clarkston Reserve Police Officer, the Postal Inspector confided to him that federal agents were planning to execute a search warrant on the apartment because law enforcement believed the occupants were drug dealers.Later that day, Hoskins alerted the suspected drug dealers that federal agents planned to raid the apartment soon and encouraged them to clear everything out. Because one of the drug dealer’s telephone was tapped, agents soon learned Hoskins had tipped them off to the search. To test whether it was Hoskins, the FBI had the Postal Inspector return to the complex and falsely inform Hoskins that they had been looking for the previous occupants of the apartment, so no search would be necessary. Later that same day, on the tapped telephone, Hoskins notified the drug dealers the FBI actually did not intend to execute a search warrant at all.
“The integrity of law enforcement is critically important to all law-abiding citizens,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release. “Although the vast majority of police officers serve and protect their communities honorably, this police officer’s criminal betrayal placed his fellow law enforcement officers at risk when he alerted suspected drug dealers that a federal search warrant was about to be executed.”
Hoskins pleaded guilty last month.