Clayton County officer arrested in alleged drug deal - CBS46 News

Clayton County officer arrested in alleged drug deal

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File photo of Dwayne Penn, Adrian Austin File photo of Dwayne Penn, Adrian Austin
CLAYTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A Clayton County police officer is behind bars after federal authorities say he hatched a plan with a local drug dealer to steal cocaine from a Mexican drug dealer and then sell it.

Clayton County Officer Dwayne Penn wiped away a lot of tears in court Thursday as the judge asked him questions about the charges he faces.

Adrian Austin, the alleged drug dealer, was also arrested and faced a judge in the case.

Penn didn't say much in court, but the tears he wiped away painted a picture of a man in serious trouble.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Agency said Penn, who ironically is assigned to the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, planned to steal six kilograms of cocaine during a phony bust.

According to a criminal complaint, federal investigators said the nine-year veteran of the Clayton County Police Department, Austin, a reputed Atlanta area drug dealer, and the fed's confidential informant, hatched a plan to steal more that $200,000 of cocaine from another drug dealer then sell it.

The feds said Penn planned to take the drugs from the informant during a fake bust while the supplier of the drugs watched nearby.

Investigators said their informant, Austin and Penn talked numerous times on the phone about the alleged scam and they agreed to meet in person to talk about it further.

According to authorities, their informant and Austin jumped into a car and drove to Upper Riverdale Road in Jonesboro and waited for Penn.

Investigators said when Penn arrived for that meeting, he came in a county issued police car.

Austin and Penn were arrested Wednesday right after the alleged deal went down.

"Penn's abuse of trust is shocking," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "Police officers who manipulate their positions create mistrust with the people they are sworn to protect. As demonstrated by the number of police officer cases charged earlier this year, we are committed to pursuing these cases wherever they arise to restore the public's trust in honest law enforcement."

CBS Atlanta News learned Penn was shot in 2004.

Penn was a rookie police officer when he was shot in the face during the summer of that year.

Moments later, the suspect who shot him was shot and killed by another officer.

Penn spent five hours on an operating table for his injury.

Penn is due back in court next Wednesday. He has been placed on unpaid leave pending an internal investigation.

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