A former Georgia sheriff’s deputy who pleaded responsible to a federal weapons cost additionally beforehand mentioned assaulting a Black particular person and desirous to cost Black individuals with felonies in an effort to stop them from voting, federal investigators allege in court docket data.
Cody Richard Griggers, 28, of Montrose, Georgia, entered a responsible plea on Monday of unlawfully possessing an unregistered firearm, the Justice Division introduced this week.
An legal professional for Griggers advised CNN that his shopper was remorseful after failing to appropriately register his firearms, however blasted the federal government for together with info in court docket paperwork suggesting his shopper was a White supremacist.
“These inflammatory allegations are merely that — allegations,” mentioned legal professional Keith Fitzgerald, noting lots of the allegations in court docket data are unrelated to the prison cost towards his shopper. Moreover, Fitzgerald mentioned his shopper denies any allegations of racism.
“He isn’t a bigot or a racist,” Fitzgerald mentioned.
In an affidavit supporting the federal government’s prison grievance towards Griggers — a former deputy with the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Division — an FBI agent highlighted a collection of messages allegedly written by Griggers that depicted hatred in the direction of African Individuals and the LGBT group, whereas additionally talking positively concerning the Nazi holocaust.
In keeping with court docket data, Griggers got here on the radar of federal officers after after brokers seized the telephone of a person beneath investigation in San Diego. The FBI alleged that Griggers, the San Diego suspect and different unidentified people had been a part of a group-text self-described as “Shadow Moses.”
In group texts, Griggers expressed anti-government views and hatred towards minorities and mentioned making firearms suppressors and automated weapons, in response to the affidavit.
In keeping with the FBI, in August 2019, the previous deputy sheriff despatched a textual content describing utilizing extreme power towards an individual of shade who was suspected of stealing a firearm accent from a neighborhood gun retailer, indicating, “I beat the s*** out of a [n-word] Saturday.”
“Sheriff’s dept mentioned it look [sic] like he fell,” Griggers added, in response to the FBI, and mentioned the beating was “candy stress reduction.”
The Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Division didn’t reply to CNN’s request for touch upon the alleged incident involving the assault of a suspect.
Nonetheless, in an interview with the Macon Telegraph newspaper, Sheriff Richard Chatman, who’s Black, denied Griggers’s declare.
“That by no means occurred,” Chatman advised the Macon Telegraph, including, “We don’t actually have a gun store right here.”
In keeping with the federal prison grievance, Griggers additionally mentioned his intentions to cost Black individuals with felonies in an effort to stop them from voting.
“It’s an indication of gorgeous issues to return,” Griggers texted group members, in response to the FBI, and wrote, “Additionally I’m going to cost them with no matter felonies I can to remove their potential to vote.”
The FBI offered no proof Griggers ever did this.
Regardless of his alleged racist rhetoric, Griggers has not been charged with any civil rights violations. Relatively, federal prosecutors charged him with unlawfully possessing an unregistered short-barrel firearm seized throughout a court-authorized search of his residence in November 2020, in response to court docket data.
CNN has requested remark from the Justice Division concerning whether or not any further civil rights expenses are pending.
“This former regulation enforcement officer knew that he was breaking the regulation when he selected to own a cache of unregistered weapons, silencers and a machine gun, retaining lots of them in his obligation automobile,” mentioned Appearing United States Legal professional Peter Leary, in saying the responsible plea. “Coupled along with his violent racially motivated excessive statements, the defendant has misplaced the privilege completely of sporting the blue.”
Griggers stays in custody pending sentencing, which is scheduled for July 6. He faces a most of 10 years in jail and three years of supervised launch, in addition to a most nice of $250,000.