It’s the kind of crime made for a TV drama. An ex-Georgia cop has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that while she was an officer, she performed fake traffic stops in order to steal money from drivers, and then split the goods with drug dealers she ran with.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Lori Monique Johnson ran the scheme at least two times between April 29, 2014, and March 13, 2015. The then-DeKalb County police officer is accused of pulling over unsuspecting drug dealers at traffic stops and, acting as a working officer, seizing their money.
Then Johnson allegedly would run the money back to another set of drug dealers with whom she was affiliated and who would dole her out a cut in return for her services.
In a separate incident, authorities say, Johnson once responded to another officer’s traffic stop and ran the same scheme.
In total, Johnson is accused of taking more than $150,000, WXIA-TV reports. She resigned from the force in October 2017 while under investigation by both the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI in the illegal stops and seizures. On Friday, a grand jury handed down charges of violating the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act and 13 counts of violating an oath as a public officer.
Chief James Conroy told the press that Johnson’s actions were “reprehensible” and “unacceptable,” and that they didn’t reflect the high standards of the DeKalb County Police Department.
“Her actions tarnish the reputations and service which is demonstrated by our honorable law enforcement officers each and every day,” Conroy said.
Bear in mind, this is the same police department that last year had one of its officers go viral after video showed him beating a homeless woman. That officer, P.J. Larscheid, appears to still be on the force.
It’s still not clear why and how the investigation into the illegal seizures got started two years after Johnson allegedly made the stops. The 33-year-old now-former officer turned herself in to authorities on Thursday and was released on bond the next day, according to jail records.