SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A former Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officer, has been charged with drug trafficking conspiracy, extortion, possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, and lying to federal agents.
Floyd B. Sawyer, 44, was arrested Monday by federal authorities on a criminal complaint. He made his first appearance in federal court on Tuesday.
In 2010, federal authorities got information that an SCMPD officer providing off-duty security at a local Savannah nightclub was extorting narcotics from area drug dealers within the club and selling the drugs for his own benefit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
In the early-morning hours of May 22, 2010, A law enforcement informant posing as a drug dealer entered the Savannah nightclub with a cell phone, a bottle of placebo Oxycontin pills and other items.
The informant was soon forcibly taken by Sawyer and another off-duty SCMPD officer, who were both wearing SCMPD uniforms and carrying SCMPD-issued firearms, to a secluded area of the club, according to the criminal complaint unsealed in court Tuesday.
Sawyer and the other officer then took the placebo drugs and cell phone from the informant, who was then escorted from the club and released, according to the criminal complaint.
Later that day, the cell phone taken from the informant became associated with a number subscribed to by Sawyer.
Sawyer later lied to federal agents when questioned about his alleged misconduct.
"This case was investigated by the FBI and the DEA and all questions should be referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office," said Police Chief Willie Lovett in a statement. "Mr. Sawyer, of course, is innocent unless proven guilty, but it is disappointing to hear of even a former officer facing charges, especially if they stem from his time in the department.
"It no way reflects on the 600 sworn officers and 200 civilian personnel who compose this department. These employees strive daily to protect the people of this jurisdiction."
Sawyer is out of jail on 25,000 dollar bond.
Sawyer began his career with the Savannah Police Department in April 25, 2002, and was a juvenile detective when he was terminated in Sept. 14, 2010, according to SCMPD.