Former Georgia deputy sentenced to prison for possessing unregistered firearms resulting from FBI-led violent extremist group investigation

MACON, Ga. – A former Georgia Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to prison for possessing unregistered firearms resulting from an FBI-led investigation into a violent extremist group.

Cody Richard Griggers, 28, of Montrose, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 44 months in federal prison to be followed by one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self after pleading guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Law enforcement officers should be above reproach, and the vast majority of them are. Cody Griggers disgraced that trust by espousing violent extremism and possessing a cache of unregistered weapons while on duty, including a machine gun with a silencer and obliterated serial number,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Officers are never above the laws they swear to uphold, and I thank our law enforcement partners for helping us hold this disgraced former deputy accountable.”

“This former law enforcement officer violated his oath of office in many ways, the most egregious was by threatening the very citizens he was sworn to protect with his words of racially motivated violence,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Now he is being held accountable by serving time in prison and never being able to wear the blue again.”

“Investigating and prosecuting the illegal possession of unregistered machineguns is a key part of ATF’s mission to protect communities from the illegal use of such firearms,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Schmidt, ATF Atlanta Field Division. “This successful prosecution is the culmination of the joint investigation by ATF, the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office and FBI and restores the public’s confidence in those who are entrusted to serve and protect our communities.”

According to court documents, FBI agents discovered a group text with Griggers, who was a Deputy with the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office, as part of a California investigation into a man making violent political statements on social media. In the group text, Griggers made statements that he was manufacturing and acquiring illegal firearms, explosives and suppressors. He also expressed viewpoints consistent with racially motivated violent extremism, including the use of racial slurs, slurs against homosexuals and making frequent positive references to the Nazi holocaust.

On November 19, 2020, agents executed a search warrant at Griggers’ residence and searched his Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office duty vehicle. Inside his duty vehicle, officers found multiple firearms, including a machinegun with an obliterated serial number. The machinegun was not issued to the defendant, and he was not allowed to have the weapon in his law enforcement car. An unregistered short barrel shotgun was found in his home. In all, between the defendant’s residence and duty vehicle, officers found 11 illegal firearms.

The case was investigated by FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Will R. Keyes prosecuted the case for the Government.

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