Former officer admits to lying

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A former narcotics squad supervisor pleaded guilty Monday to a federal crime - lying to a FBI agent.

Mathue Phares, 38, served nearly 18 years with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. He was a sergeant assigned to narcotics until he was forced to resign in December while under investigation.

The sheriff's internal affairs office asked the FBI to investigate allegations of civil rights violations, FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Downey testified Monday in U.S. District Court.

Some of the allegations included claims that Mr. Phares had sexual relations with confidential informants. That could be a civil rights violation because an officer is in a position of power or authority over an informant, Agent Downey said.

When agents called Mr. Phares in for an interview Dec. 11, he initially denied ever having an improper relationship with any informant during his career. He later admitted to one sexual relationship, Agent Downey testified. Federal agents then learned there were more than one, a fact that hampered their investigation, the agent testified.

Mr. Phares will remain free on his own recognizance until sentencing.

A hearing has not been set. The maximum penalty is five years in prison, though the harshest penalty is rarely imposed in federal court, especially when the defendant has no prior record.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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Chief Inspector
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Chief Inspector 06/12/07 - 06:41 am
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Just another case of the

Just another case of the sheriff's office conducting a "witch hunt" with the help of the FBI. This time it makes it appear that the sheriff's office had nothing to do with the investigation. But those "in the know" see what's really going on here. Matt Phares is just another "Scape Goat" for those of higher rank who have done the exact same thing but have yet to be investigated. It has been the belief for so long that what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas!!!!!

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 06:54 am
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Personally I hope he gets

Personally I hope he gets what he deserves. He plain out lied!!! I know from personal experience dealing with him it is NOT his first lie. Couldnt happen to a more deserving person...

Chief Inspector
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Chief Inspector 06/12/07 - 07:06 am
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Obviously orange slice 65 is

Obviously orange slice 65 is a disgruntled player in the game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

nowinna
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nowinna 06/12/07 - 07:56 am
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orangeslice you have been

orangeslice you have been watching to much tv why would he plant marijuana in your car when he could have put coke for a more serious charge,(don't make sense) sounds like sour grapes.

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 08:22 am
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nowinna i know what i know i

nowinna i know what i know i was there he knew i didnt have anything coke or pot. maybe he was out of coke

APINGA
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APINGA 06/12/07 - 08:25 am
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I worked with Matt for 3

I worked with Matt for 3 years, and can tell you that he was a great officer dedicated to the job. He did what most family men would do and lie about having sex outside the marriage to protect his wife and kids from the pain. President Clinton lied about the same thing and look where he is. If your rich and powerful the same laws don't apply. Matt was weak and he made some mistakes, but sending him to prison is to much, he already lost the job he loved so much, and will never be able to work in law enforcement again, let alone from every possessing a firearm.

Edward1968
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Edward1968 06/12/07 - 08:29 am
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Chief Inspector, Your

Chief Inspector,
Your first post makes absolutely no sense. The Sheriff's office should not be investigating this. It is a Federal case. How is Phares a scapegoat? If what you allude to is true then the "higher ranks" would possibly be bringing heat on themselves at a later date.

Chief, think before you post!!

Oh yeah, we're not in Las Vegas!

Edward1968
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Edward1968 06/12/07 - 08:31 am
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APINGA, If he loved the job

APINGA, If he loved the job AND his family he would have not committed the crime. He WAS a sworn Law Officer. He disgraced his badge, the SO, and his family.

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 08:32 am
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well being a law enforcement

well being a law enforcement officer first all he should have known better to have sex with a informant and second he should known better to lie, esp. to the FBI. He knew the consequences so he must not have loved that job too much. If I got caught lying on my job, Id also be fired as would most of America. He does not need a firarm....

julie16
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julie16 06/12/07 - 08:48 am
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What about the people

What about the people convicted based on Mr.Phares and his "confidential informants" One of his "CI"'s received 3 yrs while the one she testified against received 25 years.

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 08:53 am
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julie16- Great question.

julie16- Great question. perhaps RCSD should go back and review ALL his arrests.

julie16
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julie16 06/12/07 - 08:59 am
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I agree but don't see it

I agree but don't see it happening!

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 09:07 am
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Of course not. They could

Of course not. They could never admit to their wrong-doing. Thats one reason I moved from augusta

intheknow
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intheknow 06/12/07 - 11:08 am
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The fact that he lied and had

The fact that he lied and had sex with his informants, does not mean that the people convicted, were not guilty of their crimes. Poor judgement on his part, should not automatically mean that these people were not quilty. Those of us in law enforcement SHOULD be beyond reproach, but the fact of the matter is, we are human. He should be treated just like any other first offender, and not penalized for being in law enforcement. IMO

WAG
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WAG 06/12/07 - 11:13 am
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Yall are so stupid...What

Yall are so stupid...What will moving out of Augusta help? do ya think this the only city with lying law enforcement?
He screwed up , got caught and now he is paying the price. do the crime do the time...

WAG
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WAG 06/12/07 - 11:14 am
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And lots of perfectly

And lots of perfectly professionl people screw around...

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 11:23 am
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well intheknow what about the

well intheknow what about the people that have been set up? I personally know 3 of thses people. you cant honestly sit there and act like that doesnt happen cause you know it does

aangel414
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aangel414 06/12/07 - 11:26 am
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First of all i would like to

First of all i would like to tell all the people saying all this stuff about Matt to SHUT UP!!!! You do not know half of what is going on. Matt is a very good friend to me and He nore his family sould have to go through this. The man screwed up, ok we know this! Dont you think it is hard to face you wife and tell her that you screwed around on her? I would just like to say that i am going to stay by Matt side through the end!!!! And the rest can just kiss off!
Raymond W.

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 11:35 am
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aangel414.... what is there

aangel414.... what is there to know??? He got caught, tried to LIE his way out of it and got caught... yeah, I feel for his wife and kids but he should have kept his zipper zipped up... not thinking with the right head was he???

aangel414
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aangel414 06/12/07 - 11:38 am
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Orangeslice I guess you

Orangeslice I guess you have never messed up in life! How do you even know him? Did he bust you or something and your still mad about it? You just need to stop!

lazeeday
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lazeeday 06/12/07 - 11:41 am
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I knew someone that was

I knew someone that was busted by phares, and it was a long time comin. Phares may have resorted to behaviors that went a little too far with his informants but I bet every one of those losers busted deserved what they got. The one I know has been slinging dope for over 3 years and has always come out smelling like a rose. Guess it finally caught up with him, sad thing is this man was a father to a child that adored him, now he knows his dad is a loser that cared more about drugs than his kid. I applaud Phares for every scum he nailed, so what if he screwed around a little to get the job done.

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 11:51 am
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angel414 yea i have messed up

angel414 yea i have messed up in life but i didnt LIE LIE LIE to get out of it. I am not a drug dealer nor ever been one. he tried to bust me though but never ever found anything casue there was nothing to fine.

aangel414
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aangel414 06/12/07 - 11:59 am
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O so it all makes since now,

O so it all makes since now, your [filtered word] off and you think this is best way to get back at him. Matt is a good person so let it be!
i am sure he had a good reason to think you had something to hide.

aangel414
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aangel414 06/12/07 - 12:05 pm
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You know this whole thing

You know this whole thing does not make since to me the presadent get head from a women while in office, and nothing happens. A police officer has sex with a women a the whole world is going to end! What is up with that?

xqwbv2
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xqwbv2 06/12/07 - 12:21 pm
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you know, if we could just

you know, if we could just meet each other face to face (commenters) and have an Anchorman-style battle royale in the street, I'm sure we'd get out a lot of pent-up anger and frustration with each other and humanity. I'm kidding, of course. Or am I?

aangel414
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aangel414 06/12/07 - 12:24 pm
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No its not that i am just

No its not that i am just tired of people talking out of there butts about people they do even know!

WAG
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WAG 06/12/07 - 12:31 pm
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aangel414 did he have sex

aangel414 did he have sex with you to? you doth protest to much.he needs to keep his zipper up....and you need to learn to spell.

orangeslice65
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orangeslice65 06/12/07 - 12:32 pm
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aangel414 no im not [filtered word]

aangel414 no im not [filtered word] off about anything and i dont need this venue to get back at him HE IS WRONG!!!! He lied to cover up. In my business I came in contact with ppl from all walks of life, Drs, Lawyers, bartenders, strippers, college professors and even dope dealers. He was one that believed in Guilt By Association. And how do you know I dont know him?? I do and even his partner SR........So how do you like me now???????

aangel414
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aangel414 06/12/07 - 12:39 pm
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dawg for your info im a guy!

dawg for your info im a guy! This is my wifes screenname, so you need to grow up and stop thinking this is a game! I never said that he is not wrong nore has he! But dont you think that there is more important thing that the gov. can spend all this money on instead of making a big mess out of a man messing up. What is that saying to er is human!

WAG
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WAG 06/12/07 - 12:54 pm
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you still need to learn to

you still need to learn to spell....the government did not make a big mess he did...needs to keep his zipper zipped.

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