A Claxton man who worked as a sheriff’s deputy in a neighboring county recently pleaded guilty to meth distribution charges in a federal hearing in Statesboro.
According to a statement released by Edward J. Tarver, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, former Tattnall County sheriff’s Deputy Ramsey Collins Arnold, 26, faced Senior U.S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield last week and pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine.
Evidence showed Arnold began stealing drugs from the evidence room in the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office in 2011, while serving as a deputy. According to testimony, Arnold stole approximately 185 grams of methamphetamine seized by law enforcement as part of a drug investigation in July. Later, he traded the stolen methamphetamine for oxycodone, for his own personal use.
“Police corruption, drug related or otherwise, leaves a permanent stain on the record of good works of our law enforcement community,” Tarver said. “… Arnold's conduct was deplorable and without justification. He stole evidence needed for the prosecutions of other defendants and then used that evidence to engage in the drug trade.”
While a sentencing date has not yet been set, Arnold could face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $1 million and at least three years supervised release, Tarver said.
A sentencing date will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes the presentence investigation, he said.
The case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlton Bourne prosecuted the case.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.