Wetumpka Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Federal Corruption Charge

A former Wetumpka police officer is headed to federal prison.

That news comes after federal agents discovered the officer working in an illegal scheme. They made their discovery as part of a long running investigation.

The story goes all the way back to 2005, when WSFA 12 News first heard rumblings that federal agents were investigating the Wetumpka police.

They concentrated on one man - Officer Greg Thompson - who they say was helping a local drug dealer.

The U.S. Attorney first charged Thompson with public corruption under the federal Hobbs Act.

Prosecutors say he befriended a known drug dealer named Tony Mitchell and never told Wetumpka Police Chief William Pertree.

Then, in December 2005, Thompson used his police car to help Mitchell.

"He stopped an unnamed individual on behalf of Tony Mitchell to retrieve a package and it was not a legitimate traffic stop. For performing that official act, Greg Thompson was paid approximately two hundred dollars," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Verne Speirs

"A lot of people would look at that and say it's a tiny amount of money and just a favor for a friend," asked WSFA 12 News reporter Chris Holmes. "But in truth, that package contained drugs that Tony Mitchell had sold, right?"

"That is...that is the allegation," Speirs replied.

U.S. ATTORNEY Leura Canary won't comment on how Thompson helped Mitchell in other ways - saying she can only talk about what the officer pleaded guilty to.

Under the Hobbs Act, Thompson faced 20 years in jail and a quarter of a million dollar fine.

His plea deal is for 20 months in federal prison - and there's no mention of a fine.

But there's one other requirement: that he also tell investigators everything he knows about Mitchell and any other drug dealings he's aware of.

Former officer Thompson is free on 25-thousand dollars bond pending his formal sentencing. The court has yet to set a date for that.

Wetumpka Police Chief William Pertree declined any comment until Thompson is sentenced.