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Former Warner Robins Police Officer pleads guilty to violating oath

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WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (WGXA) -- A Warner Robins Police Officer has been sentenced to probation and relieved of his certification after a misconduct investigation revealed that he had allowed a subject to continue selling drugs while working as an informant.

According to the Office of Houston County District Attorney William Kendall, John Tyler Harvey was sentenced on Thursday afternoon after entering a guilty plea on the charge of violation of oath by a public officer.

Court records state that the WRPD NIU pulled over a vehicle believing that one of the occupants had a gallon-sized freezer bag of meth on them. After searching the vehicle, investigators did find fentanyl but no meth.

The two passengers were taken back to the WRPD and booked on several charges. One of the occupants, who was being held on two charges, was called upon to become a confidential informant for Harvey in exchange for lesser charges, according to documents.

The court documents go on to state that Harvey instructed the informant to conduct business as usual, knowing that the informant had around 10 ounces of meth left and owed a dealer $1,500. The State believes that Harvey was intending to allow the informant to continue selling drugs in order to pay off the dealer so that Harvey could go after the supplier.

While the investigation is still ongoing, the DA's Office states that there is no reason to believe that this is an ongoing issue and seems to be isolated.

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District Attorney Kendall released the following statement:

Those who hold positions of public trust should be held to a high standard. In this case, a public officer failed to meet that standard, and violated his oath and the trust the public has granted him. In this case there were text messages, witness testimony, testimony from other Officers and video evidence that support the charge and the allegations that the informant was being allowed to sell some 10-16 ounces of methamphetamine to make good with the informant’s drug supplier. These sales were not ‘controlled’ in any way and no arrests were made in connection with those sales. Although Harvey’s intention to go after a high-level drug supplier may have been well-meaning, endorsing and allowing an informant to sell poison to pay off a debt is not conduct commensurate with the laws of this State. Although I believe this is not a systemic issue, I do recognize that it hurts public trust and rightfully so. By and large our law enforcement in Houston County are good public servants who do the job without cutting corners or breaking laws, and one bad actor does not mean all law enforcement are bad. There are some, just as in any profession, who will cause public distrust, but they in no way make up the majority or even a meaningful percentile. This plea removed a bad actor from positions of public trust, as should be the case. As my office continues to seek justice and serve the victims of Houston County, we too will do our part to ensure justice is sought with professionalism, tact and in accordance with the laws of this State.
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