Georgia deputy pleads guilty to extortion

Federal investigation into southwest Georgia's Talbot County continues

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Another Talbot County official has pleaded guilty to allegations resulting from a federal sting operation involving seizures of what targets were told was drug money.

The Columbus Ledger-Enqurier reports that in pleading guilty Thursday before U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land at the federal courthouse in Columbus, Charlie Stephens admitted that as a part-time deputy he in April arranged to seize $8,000 during a traffic stop and split it with a man who told Stephens he was transporting the cash for a drug deal.

Stephens, one of three sheriff’s employees the FBI charged with extortion by a public official for taking what they were told was drug money, will remain free on $10,000 bond until his sentencing on April 5.



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