A former Newton County deputy sheriff from Lithonia has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling drugs – at times dealing drugs from his patrol car while in uniform.
Darrell Mathis, 41, was arrested Sept. 19, 2013, during an undercover operation in which he tried to sell drugs to a federal agent from his squad car, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office.
On Thursday he was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. Mathis was convicted of possessing a firearm during a drug transaction on Dec. 6, 2013, after he pleaded guilty.
“Mathis abandoned his oath as a deputy sheriff, and chose the life of a drug dealer,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “His decision to violate the law also violated the trust the public places in law enforcement. Mathis will have the next five years in prison to consider his conduct.”
From May through September 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s office says Mathis sold marijuana to a confidential source working with the FBI, as well as to an undercover FBI agent. At least twice Mathis sold marijuana from his marked patrol vehicle while wearing his Newton County Sheriff’s Office uniform.
Following an Aug. 8, 2013, sale of a pound of pot by Mathis to an undercover FBI agent, he brought his sheriff’s badge and firearm to a meeting with another undercover agent. During the meeting, Mathis told the second undercover FBI agent, who Mathis believed to be a drug trafficker, that he was a police officer, saying, “Don't worry, I'm on your side.”
Mathis was arrested on Sept.19, 2013, when he met with the undercover FBI agent while in possession of one pound of marijuana.