Former Murray County Sheriff's Deputy Indicted For Obstructing Civil Rights Investigation In Case Involving Magistrate

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A former Murray County Sheriff’s Deputy has been indicted by a federal grand jury for obstructing a pending civil rights investigation while he was still employed as a Sheriff’s Deputy with Murray County.  Joshua Lamar Greeson, 25, of Chatsworth, Ga., was to be arraigned Wednesday at 2 p.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson. The federal grand jury indicted Greeson on Thursday.

Deputy Greeson had made a traffic stop of Angie Garmley shortly after she had made accusations against Murray County Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran that led to his resignation.

Charges were later dismissed against Ms. Garmley.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Greeson is charged with breaching the public trust by lying to agents and concealing information in order to obstruct a civil rights investigation.  Now, he faces his own federal charges and potential time in federal prison. Our office is continuing to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate this important matter.” 

Mark F. Giuliano, special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “The conduct alleged in this indictment is a clear breach of the public trust by a law enforcement officer whom we rightfully hold to a higher standard.  Understanding the importance of this trust, the FBI remains committed to bringing forward for prosecution any such similar allegations of criminal conduct.”

“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation aggressively investigates alleged criminal activity by law enforcement officers. The state of Georgia will not tolerate criminal activity by those officials with the duty to enforce its laws,” said Vernon Keenan, GBI director.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, on Aug. 14, 2012, then Murray County Sheriff's Department Deputy Joshua Greeson performed a traffic stop on a vehicle in Murray County, Ga.  During the traffic stop, Greeson found methamphetamine in a metal can hidden under the driver's side rear wheel well of the vehicle. After locating the drugs, Greeson arrested both the front-seat passenger who owned the vehicle and the driver. Shortly thereafter, GBI agents received information that the drugs had been planted under the vehicle by another individual (not Greeson) in order to falsely inculpate the vehicle owner.

On Aug. 23, 2012, when GBI agents interviewed Greeson, he allegedly lied to them regarding information he had previously received concerning a lookout on this vehicle.  Agents later learned that Greeson had deleted information relevant to the investigation from his cell phone.   Greeson was fired from the Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 29, 2012. 

The charges each carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at the trial.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Herskowitz, Jeffrey Davis, and Timothy Storino are prosecuting the case.

For further information, contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or 404 581-6016.  The internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.


Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Senator Overbey Nominated To Be U.S. Attorney For Eastern Tennessee District

State Senator Doug Overbey was nominated by President Trump on Friday to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Senator Bob Corker said,  “Doug Overbey is an outstanding choice to serve Tennesseans as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Doug has had a distinguished law career, spanning nearly four decades, and has served the Volunteer State honorably in the ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Every week I get emails full of inspiration and funny stories. This summer I have gathered a sampling of my weekly harvest and presented the collection as a reminder we ought to cherish laughter with those we love and the weekend. I am not only amazed how popular my ‘Summer Saturdays’ have become but this week I have gotten funnies from California, Texas and Arizona, to mention ... (click for more)

Lookouts Take Second Straight At Mobile Thursday With 4-1 Win

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Nick Gordon scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, leading the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 4-1 win over the Mobile BayBears on Thursday. Gordon scored on the play in the first to give the Lookouts a 1-0 lead after he led off the inning with a single, stole second and then went to third on a groundout. With the score tied 1-1 in the second, the Lookouts ... (click for more)

Katie Tingle Named Covenant Women's Basketball Assistant

The Covenant women's basketball program has announced the hiring of Katie Tingle as the full-time assistant coach for head coach Sarah Harris. Tingle replaces Kiaira Cooper, who recently left the program for an administrative position at Houghton College.  "I am so thankful to director of athletics Tim Sceggel and head coach Sarah Harris for this opportunity to ... (click for more)