Ever met a cop who overstepped his boundaries with the help of his shiny badge? Georgia deputy Darrell Mathis truly thought he was above the law when he attempted to do cocaine and marijuana drug deal with an undercover FBI agent. The FBI started tracking Mathis when a confidential informant visited his home and saw large bags of marijuana on the deputy’s living room table. Mathis showed up for a drug deal in his cruiser, in uniform and carrying his service pistol, and sold the informant an ounce of marijuana Mathis’s confidence enabled him to sell about 10-15 pounds of marijuana a week by flashing his police credentials. Mathis would state “don’t worry, I’m on your side” and flash his badge in order to reassure the undercover buyers that he was “trustworthy.” However, the officer was caught by the FBI while attempting to complete a deal, and is expected to accrue up to a life sentence in prison.
Massachusetts Laws on Marijuana and Firearm Possession
Under Massachusetts law, illegal firearm possession out side the home warrants a minimum of 18 months. A grave charge of intent to transfer the firearm, along with the intent to also conceal a crime, can even build up to a 21-year prison sentence. Massachusetts’s law actually makes an exception in its firearm charges for police officers, who are evidently permitted to carry weapons, but the irony is that in this case Mathis is not immune to punishment. In terms of marijuana possession, Massachusetts’s law states that convicts get up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. Mathis would not get away with his position; the judge would likely make an example out of his conduct and sentence him to the maximum extent of his crime. However, Mathis would be unlikely to get a life sentence in Massachusetts, as Georgia law will punish his crimes severely.
According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, deputy Mathis “used his position as a police officer to openly violate the very laws that he was sworn to uphold.” “Selling marijuana out of his police car while wearing a badge and uniform is outrageous. This case is a reminder that no one is above the law.”
Charges against police officer
Deputy Mathis faces charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and with carrying a firearm during a drug offense. According to reports, possession of a firearm during a drug offense may swell to a life sentence in prison for Mathis. Deputy Mathis was released on a $25,000 bond after his initial court appearance, wherein he was also appointed an attorney. According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, deputy Mathis “used his position as a police officer to openly violate the very laws that he was sworn to uphold.” Despite acquiring representation, it is unlikely that Mathis will finagle his way out of a harsh, didactic sentence.