A former Atlanta police officer was sentenced to two years in federal prison today for conspiring to accept bribes and lying to FBI agents. Elton Augustin, 32, of Stockbridge, Ga., was an APD officer who worked with the department from June 2007 to August 2007 and used his position to bolseter security at an illegal nightclub was sentenced Tuesday.
“Police officers are sworn to uphold the law and protect the community they serve, but this defendant protected an illegal business in exchange for cash and then lied to federal investigators,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “His actions betrayed the community and the honest law enforcement officers who serve honorably every day.”
According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, Augustin worked at an illegal nightclub in Atlanta where he, along with two other APD officers, received over $10,000 in cash to provide security and prevent police officers from investigating illegal activity at the nightclub, which included gambling, prostitution, drug sales and various permit violations.
“While today’s sentencing ends one police officer’s career, it is important to note that the vast majority of dedicated law enforcement officers that serve our community understand their oaths to the badge and honor their commitment to their positions of trust,” stated Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The FBI urges anyone with information regarding activities involving police corruption to contact their nearest FBI field office.”
The attorney’s office claim found that Augustin and the other officers were posted outside of the nightclub’s parking lot to intercept on-duty police officers responding to emergency calls. The officers’ presence at the nightclub prevented on-duty officers from discovering the illegal activity and allowed the club to operate undetected for several months.
On September 15, 2007, APD officers shutdown the illegal nightclub and arrested the club’s owners. In 2010, federal agents learned about the officers’ employment at the club. When confronted, Augustin lied to federal agents investigating his employment there.
The other two APD police officers, Lucius T. Solomon and Eric Jones, were also convicted of bribery charges. Solomon pleaded guilty to bribery and drug trafficking charges on September 2, 2010, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on December 17, 2010. Jones pleaded guilty to conspiring with Augustin to accept bribes on April 5, 2013, and is awaiting sentencing.
Augustin was sentenced today by United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. to serve two years in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and to perform 100 hours of community service. Augustin was convicted of lying to federal agents after a jury trial on December 7, 2012. On February 14, 2013, Augustin pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept bribes.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Atlanta Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey A. Brown prosecuted the case.
(Photo: US Attorney Sally Yates announcing the case against Augustin, Solomon and Jones)