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 'Dirty cops' protected drug dealersTen metro Atlanta police officers have been charged with taking bribes from drug dealers in exchange for protecting them while they flooded the streets of Atlanta with cocaine, reports

Law enforcement officers arrested in the wide-spread corruption scheme:  Atlanta Police Department Officer Kelvin Allen, 42, of Atlanta; DeKalb County Police Department Officers Dennis Duren, 32, of Atlanta and Dorian Williams, 25, of  Stone Mountain, Ga.; Forest Park Police Department Sergeants Victor Middlebrook, 44, of Jonesboro, Ga. and Andrew Monroe, 57, of Riverdale, Ga.; MARTA  Police Department Officer Marquez Holmes, 45, of Jonesboro, Ga.; Stone Mountain Police Department Officer Denoris Carter, 42, of  Lithonia, Ga., and contract Federal Protective Services Officer Sharon Peters, 43, of Lithonia, Ga.

Former DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office jail officers involved in the scheme are Monyette McLaurin, 37, of Atlanta, and Chase Valentine, 44, of Covington, Ga.

U.S. Attorney Sally Yates says that officers involved in the scheme even suggested  using a school zone as a distraction:

“Remarkably, one of the police officers actually suggested that future drug deals be conducted in the parking lot of a local high school so they could exchange backpacks there, and that exchange of backpacks wouldn’t be something that caused suspicion,” Yates explained during a news conference Tuesday.

“This is a troubling day for law enforcement in our city. The law enforcement officers charged today sold their badges by taking payoffs from drug dealers that they should have been arresting,” Yates said. “They not only betrayed the citizens they were sworn to protect, they also betrayed the thousands of honest, hard-working law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. We will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to pursue this corruption wherever it lies.”

Drug trafficking, accepting illegal payouts and “using firearms during the commission of a crime,” were a few of the charges brought against the officers.

Read more at CBS Atlanta.