Former Lowndes County Deputy Sentenced for Civil Rights Conspiracy Charge

By: U.S. Dept. of Justice Email
By: U.S. Dept. of Justice Email
More Video...

News Release: US Department of Justice
June 24, 2015

WASHINGTON – Former Lowndes County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Stacks, 29, was sentenced today to serve 21 months in prison and two years supervised release for his role in a civil rights conspiracy aimed at stealing money from Hispanic motorists, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division and U. S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia. Also sentenced today were two civilians – Gloria Gallego and Miguel Angel Reyes – who will serve 24 months and 30 months in prison, respectively, as well as three years supervised release for conspiring with Stacks to use his law enforcement authority to unlawfully detain and steal money from the motorists.

On May 6, 2014, Stacks pleaded guilty to a civil rights conspiracy charge, admitting that he participated in a plan with the civilians to subject Hispanic motorists to unlawful traffic stops so that his co-conspirators could then demand that the motorists pay money in order to avoid arrest and/or deportation. On Mar. 26, 2015, Gallego and Reyes pleaded guilty to the same charge. According to information made public in the plea hearings, Stacks, while acting as a sheriff’s deputy, unlawfully detained at least four motorists on Aug. 17, 2013. One of the motorists, who was identified in the plea documents by the initials T.C., was unlawfully detained by Stacks and then approached by Gallego and Reyes, who posed as bilingual passers-by who wanted to help T.C. Gallego and Reyes told T.C. in Spanish that he would be sent to jail or deported if he did not pay them $500. When T.C. responded that he did not have $500 in his car, the conspirators agreed to let T.C. go home to get the money from his relatives. Gallego and Reyes drove T.C. to his residence and took $300 in cash from him. Stacks, Gallego, and Reyes then divided the money among them.

“Stacks abused his authority by engaging in a scheme with two accomplices to target and steal money from those he was sworn to protect,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta. “The Justice Department will hold accountable officers who violate their oath by violating the civil rights of members of the public.”

“Law enforcement officers take an oath to protect and serve the public and, based on the duty and responsibility that imposes, the public in turn invests them with great authority and respect,” said U.S. Attorney Moore. “The abuse of that power and authority, such as happened here, lessens that respect and trust by the public in all law enforcement, thus victimizing not only the victims specifically targeted but all law enforcement officers everywhere as well as the public generally.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Risa Berkower of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.


News Release: US Department of Justice
May 7, 2014

WASHINGTON – Today, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia announced that Jason Stacks, a former Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Deputy, pleaded guilty to conspiring to use his law enforcement authority to unlawfully detain and take money from motorists.

In connection with his plea, Stacks admitted that he conspired with two civilians to subject Hispanic motorists to unlawful traffic stops so that the conspirators could demand the motorists pay money in order to avoid arrest and/or deportation. On Aug. 16, 2013, Stacks, while acting as a LCSO Deputy, unlawfully detained at least four motorists. One of the motorists, identified in the plea documents by the initials T.C., was unlawfully detained by Stacks and then approached by Stacks’s two Spanish-speaking co-conspirators, who explained to T.C. that he would be sent to jail or deported if he did not pay $500. When T.C. responded that he did not have $500 in his car, the co-conspirators drove T.C. to his residence and took $300 in cash from him. Stacks and the two co-conspirators divided the $300 among them.

“Mr. Stacks admitted that he conspired to use his badge to unlawfully detain and take money from motorists,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officers who seek to profit from the violation of civil rights.”

“Today’s guilty plea is another example of the zero tolerance the Department of Justice has for law enforcement officers who violate individuals’ civil rights,” said U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.

This case has been investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. The matter is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Risa Berkower of the Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.


News Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
May 7, 2014

A former Lowndes County Sheriff's Deputy accused of using his badge to extort money has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, in a scam that targeted Hispanic drivers with illegitimate traffic fines.

Jason Stacks was arrested back in September.Prosecutors say Stacks admitted to taking money from Hispanic drivers during unlawful traffic stops and telling the victims they faced arrest or deportation if they didn't pay him.

Prosecutors say that in one instance, Stacks and two Spanish-speaking co-conspirators drove a victim to his house after he told the trio he didn't have 500 dollars to pay them. Authorities say the three took 300 dollars in cash from the victim and split it.

Press Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office

In recent days, Sheriff Chris Prine was made aware of an incident in which an employee from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office was alleged to have participated in the robbery of a citizen by intimidation.

Upon learning of this, Sheriff Prine immediately ordered the initiation of a criminal investigation and an investigation by the department’s internal affairs unit. Jason Stacks was placed on administrative leave immediately after the allegation surfaced pending the outcome of this investigation.

As a result of the investigation, investigators learned that on August 17, 2013 Jason Stacks, who was employed as a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop of a Hispanic male on North Ashley Street and was assisted by two {2} other persons, Miguel Reyes and Gloria Gallego.

Once the victim was stopped, the trio demanded money from the victim in exchange for not arresting him. The victim complied and paid the group $300.00 and was released.

Miguel Reyes was arrested and is currently in the Hamilton County Jail awaiting extradition back to Lowndes County. Gloria Gallego is at the Lowndes County Jail. Jason Stacks was transported to another jail facility.

Jason Stacks’ employment has been terminated.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2015 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 222701061 - wctv.tv/a?a=222701061
Gray Television, Inc.