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June 10--  Former Appling County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard W. Crosby, 35, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court to the offense of being an accessory after the fact to a drug crime. 

          Appearing before Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in Brunswick, Crosby admitted that he had warned a drug suspect that a search warrant was to be executed at the suspect’s Appling County  residence on January 20, 2011.  Crosby learned of the search warrant during a briefing given by a drug task force agent at the Sheriff’s Office on January 19, 2011.  Crosby then relayed this information to a third party with instructions to warn the resident about the pending execution of the warrant.  This disclosure was  made in order to hinder the apprehension of the drug suspect. 

        United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “The behavior of Mr. Crosby in this incident is inexcusable.  Actions that jeopardize ongoing investigations and potentially endanger law enforcement personnel will not be tolerated and offenders will be prosecuted.”     

        The charge against Crosby resulted from a joint investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.  The maximum penalty for the offense is 30 months in prison and a fine of up to $125,000.  Crosby remains on bond pending sentence, which will be held upon the completion of a pre-sentence investigation and report.