MACON, Ga. -- A former deputy with the Wilkinson County Sheriff's Office could spend 10 years in prison for possessing an unregistered firearm.
The US Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Georgia said Wednesday that 28-year-old Cody Richard Griggers, of Laurens County, pleaded guilty before a US District Judge to one count of possessing an unregistered firearm.
The case stems from an investigation in California that involved a man who made violent political statements on social media. The Federal Burea of Investigation found a group text involving Griggers, who was then a deputy with the Wilkinson County Sheriff's Office.
They said Griggers said in the group chat that he was manufacturing and acquiring illegal firearms, explosives, and suppressors. Griggers also made racially motivated violent statements including using racial slurs, slurs against gay people, and commonly made positive references to the Nazi Holocaust.
In November 2020, the FBI served a search warrant at Griggers' home and searched his Wilkinson County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle.
Inside his duty vehicle, agents found several firearms including a machine gun with a destroyed serial number. The machine gun wasn't issued to Griggers, who wasn't allowed to have it inside of his patrol car. Agents also found an unregistered short barrel shotgun in his home.
In total, 11 illegal firearms were found in Griggers' possession.
“This former law enforcement officer knew that he was breaking the law when he chose to possess a cache of unregistered weapons, silencers, and a machinegun, keeping many of them in his duty vehicle. Coupled with his violent racially motivated extreme statements, the defendant has lost the privilege permanently of wearing the blue,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter Leary. “I want to thank the FBI, ATF, and Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office for their work investigating this case.”
Griggers faces up to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. He's set to be sentenced in July. He won't receive parole because there's no parole in the federal system.
Griggers was detained at his pretrial hearing and will remain in custody.