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Former Gadsden deputy sentenced 10 months in jail for false assertion

A former Gadsden County Sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 10 months in federal jail after he plead responsible to mendacity to a federal officer about his aiding of a drug trafficker in 2018 and 2019.  

Joseph Barnes’ plea deal, which he entered in April, noticed him admit guilt to solely considered one of six fees in change for a sentence now not than 5 years, in keeping with court docket data filed within the Northern District of Florida. 

His 5 different preliminary fees included illegal use of a communication system or facilitate possession with intent to distribute a managed substance; and deliberately trying to own a managed substance, on this case cocaine. 

Barnes, 54, was additionally linked to energetic participation in a canine combating ring in Gadsden County however was by no means charged for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, court docket data acknowledged. 

Again story:

Barnes’ legal professional Mutaqee Akbar, who can also be the president of Tallahassee’s chapter of the NAAC, was not instantly accessible to remark. 

FBI: Barnes searches the vehicles of ‘large-scale’ drug traffickers for regulation enforcement monitoring gadgets

Barnes, who served as a GCSO deputy from 1999 till his 2019 arrest, was swept up in an intensive and ongoing investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Process Power — a joint federal, state, and native process drive focusing on drug trafficking organizations.

In 2018, an unnamed supply informed the FBI that Barnes would help a number of “large-scale” drug traffickers by, for instance, eradicating covertly put in monitoring gadgets on their vehicles, in keeping with a possible trigger affidavit. 

An FBI agent had beforehand investigated one of many named drug traffickers and located {that a} monitoring system positioned on his car in 2011 had been eliminated and was lacking, court docket data learn.

Investigators then linked Barnes’ telephone quantity with recognized drug traffickers.

Gadsden County Sheriff's Office Friday, June 12, 2020

The unnamed supply, sporting a wire, met with Barnes in September 2018, the affidavit mentioned. 

After transient musings on latest drug arrests, the person requested Barnes to look his car for monitoring gadgets — which he did inside view of FBI brokers watching the interplay, court docket data acknowledged. 

Drug trafficking:Gadsden County deputy faces federal fees he facilitated drug trafficking ring

FBI: Barnes gives ‘entice automobile’ steering

In March 2019, the informant informed Barnes that he was having a “entice automobile” constructed to undetectably transport medicine earlier than he requested if Barnes knew something about Okay-9s. 

Barnes supplied tricks to the informant on easy methods to “throw off” canine earlier than he supplied to have his personal Okay-9 sniff across the man’s automobile to see if it may hint his medicine. 

The subsequent month, the informant drove to Barnes’ home the place the then-GCSO deputy introduced out his Okay-9 and had it go across the automobile, court docket data mentioned. Regardless of the canine indicating that there have been medicine within the automobile, Barnes did not search it or query the informant.

When he was later questioned by FBI brokers on his dealings with the informant, Barnes made “a number of false statements concerning his consciousness of the drug trafficking exercise and his efforts to facilitate the felony conduct,” learn the DOJ abstract.

In June 2019, he was arrested and was instantly fired from the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Workplace. 

Gadsden County Sheriff's Office

A GCSO spokesperson declined to touch upon Barnes’ arrest as a result of, “He’s an ex worker.”

Whereas working as a GCSO deputy, he ‘participated in’ canine combating ring

Barnes — whereas by no means being charged — additionally “had a historical past of attendance at, participation in, and even the coaching of combating canine” in a dog-fighting ring in Gadsden County that was uncovered by means of a separate yearslong investigation, court docket data acknowledged.

In Might 2019, a search warrant executed as a part of the investigation into the canine combating ring yielded “massive caches of unlawful medicine, a number of firearms, and over 100 pit bull-type combating canine had been seized and rescued,” data mentioned. 

Joseph Barnes, 52,  is charged with unlawful use of a communication Device or facilitate possession with intent to distribute a controlled Substance.

“The unhappy irony right here is that Defendant Barnes, as a trusted member of regulation enforcement, was somebody who ought to have been an obstacle to, moderately than an ardent supporter of, these merciless undertakings,” learn a sentencing memorandum. 

“His free discussions concerning these actions captured throughout undercover recordings introduced at trial vividly confirmed that (Barnes) not solely turned a blind eye, however through the years contributed to and took part on this merciless enterprise.”

Contact Christopher Cann at and observe @ChrisCannFL on Twitter.

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