Fmr. Tallassee Asst. Police Chief charged in federal indictment
TALLASSEE, AL (WSFA) - Former Tallassee Assistant Police Chief Chris Miles has been indicted on four counts in federal court ranging from obstruction of justice to distribution of marijuana.
Miles was released from his post at the Tallassee Police Department in 2013 after authorities determined he reportedly used force to coerce confessions involving a heinous child sex abuse case.
"Assistant Chief Miles lied to the FBI as soon as the investigation started," U.S. Attorney, George Beck explained.
The Elmore County District Attorney's Office initially indicted the defendant, Stephen Conrad, on more than 100 charges. After the issues surrounding the coercion surfaced, the State Bureau of Investigation re-investigated the case and brought new indictments in state court.
This federal indictment against Miles reflects similar allegations connected to that state case dating back to 2013.
The initial count against Miles involves Conrad's deprivation of rights. While acting under the color of the law, Miles reportedly engaged in cruel and unusual punishment while questioning a suspect, Conrad, about the child sex abuse case. The indictment reports the assault resulted in bodily injury.
"He [Miles] beat him [Conrad] with a phone book, reams of paper, slapped him and hit him just to punch out a confession," Beck explained. "Law enforcement is not the jury, it is not the judge, they do not inflict punishment and they cannot use punishment techniques to interrogate."
The second and third counts involve obstruction of justice, alleging Miles made materially false statements to the FBI, claiming he never hit Conrad with a ream of paper. The indictment states Miles hit Conrad in the head with a pack of copy paper twice during questioning.
The fourth count alleges Miles possessed and distributed marijuana in January 2013.
"The public has to be able to trust them", Beck said. "When they start stealing from their own evidence locker, the 16 pounds of marijuana was not only stolen but he sold it to drug distributors in the community."
Authorities aren't through. Miles still has cases pending in Elmore County, one involving another theft from the evidence locker.
"We have a bunch of charges and the firearms case is one of them," Elmore County District Attorney Randall Houston explained. "I have been in communication with Chris' lawyers in an effort to resolve those cases in state court. This is the case where law enforcement working together as a group has gotten to the bottom of a bunch of crimes, and has gotten a bad law enforcement officer off the street."
Miles is scheduled for a plea date in Federal Court next week.
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