Michael Henderson, a former Captain with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office, has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for obstructing a public corruption investigation.
“By lying to his fellow law enforcement officers, Mr. Henderson obstructed a public corruption investigation,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “But, in addition to violating the law, Mr. Henderson also violated the trust given to him by Murray County’s citizen.”
Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “Today’s sentencing of former Captain Henderson marks the end of an otherwise successful and promising career in law enforcement with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office. Actions that betray an officer’s sworn oath and the overall public trust bestowed upon them cannot be tolerated. With today’s sentencing, former Captain Henderson is being held accountable for those actions.”
In April 2012, a woman met with then-Chief Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran regarding a legal matter. The woman said during that meeting, Cochran made inappropriate sexual overtures towards her.
Sometime in mid-July 2012, Cochran provided then-Captain Henderson with the tip that the woman carried drugs in her white Dodge vehicle. After receiving the tip, Henderson provided the tip to, and discussed the tip with, other members of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office.
On August 14, 2012, Henderson and separately-convicted former Deputy Sheriff Joshua L. Greeson participated in a traffic stop of the white Dodge car. During the stop, Greeson claimed to find methamphetamine in a metal tin hidden under the wheel well of the car. After finding the drugs, Henderson and Greeson arrested the woman.
Shortly thereafter, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) received information that the drugs had been planted on the vehicle. As a result, the state drug charges against the citizen were dismissed.
On August 22, 2012, agents from the GBI interviewed Henderson in connection with a public corruption investigation. During the interview, Henderson falsely stated to the GBI agents that he had never told any other members of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office that he had received a tip that the white Dodge was allegedly carrying drugs.
On August 31, 2012, Henderson was fired from the Murray County Sheriff’s Office.
On March 27, 2013, Henderson, 41, of Murray County, Ga., pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness by lying to the GBI agents. United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy sentenced Henderson to 12 months and one day in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Michael Herskowitz prosecuted the case.