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.


Chattanooga Radio Icon Earl Freudenberg Gives His Last On Air Words

Chattanooga radio icon Earl Freudenberg has retired after nearly 55 years.    Friday was the last day for the longtime radio host known to many fans as "Hey Earl." (click for more)

Retired Police Chief Freeman Cooper Awarded Top Law Enforcement Honor

The Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police held its 2016 Annual Conference in Chattanooga.  This year’s Joe Casey Award went to Retired Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper. The award was presented by TACP Past President and Retired Metro Nashville Police Chief Joe Casey to Chief Cooper in the company of police chiefs and dignitaries from across the ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abused By An EpiPen

It is a good guess that for about 30 years I have kept an EpiPen on the top of my refrigerator. I have never had to open the box, much less jab a dose of life-saving epinephrine into a person suffering from anaphylaxis. Whether it is a bee sting, peanut butter, shellfish or other allergies, I watched somebody come within inches of dying in my early 20s and swore I would have one ... (click for more)

Sale Creek Storms Past Central, 3-0, In Volleyball Action

Despite playing short-handed, Sale Creek’s once-beaten Lady Panthers made short work of Central, 3-0, Thursday night in high school volleyball action at Central High School. The Lady Panthers sprinted to their 11 th win in 12 matches this season by whipping Central 25-21, 25-13, 25-8 in the non-district matchup. “We played well today,” Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill said. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Central Inducts Five Alums into Hall of Fame Tonight

Five Chattanooga Central High School star student-athletes will be inducted into the Central Sports Hall of Fame tonight prior to the Central-Soddy Daisy football game. The five former student athletes are: Steve Arnold (1972, track and field), Gina Brooks (1985, softball), Steve Carroll (1966, football), Rick Duncan (1971, baseball), Gene Hall (1952, boxing). Gene ... (click for more)