Former Warner Robins narcotics officer sentenced for violating oath

A former officer of the Warner Robins Police Department's Narcotics Investigation Unit (NIU), John Tyler Harvey, has been sentenced following a month-long investigation initiated by the Houston County District Attorney's Office.
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WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A former officer of the Warner Robins Police Department’s Narcotics Investigation Unit (NIU), John Tyler Harvey, has been sentenced following a month-long investigation initiated by the Houston County District Attorney’s Office.

Harvey was found guilty of one count of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer by Superior Court Judge G.E. “Bo” Adams on Thursday, according to a news release from the Houston County District Attorney’s Office.

This charge stemmed from allegations of improper conduct while Harvey was serving in his duties as an NIU officer for WRPD.

A news release from the City of Warner Robins says Harvey submitted his resignation on Wednesday.

“While his intentions may have been without malice, his actions were contrary to the principles and responsibilities we uphold as law enforcement officers,” WRPD Interim Police Chief Roy Whitehead said.

Harvey was sentenced to a five-year probated sentence. He must also must relinquish his POST Certification and may not hold any public trust position during his sentence. This sentence came despite the State and Defense Counsel’s initial proposal of a 5 serve 2 suspended sentence, which the court rejected.

The investigation revealed that Harvey, in pursuit of a high-level drug supplier, endorsed and allowed a confidential informant to sell large quantities of methamphetamine to pay off a debt. This incident occurred after a traffic stop on March 31, 2023 led to the informant being held on various charges.

“Those who hold positions of public trust should be held to a high standard,” District Attorney William Kendall said. “In this case, a public officer failed to meet that standard and violated his oath and the trust the public has granted him.”In this case there were text messages, witness testimony, testimony from other Officers and video evidence that support the charge and the allegations that the informant was being allowed to sell some 10-16 ounces of methamphetamine to make good with the informant’s drug supplier. These sales were not ‘controlled’ in any way and no arrests were made in connection with those sales. Although Harvey’s intention to go after a high-level drug supplier may have been well-meaning, endorsing and allowing an informant to sell poison to pay off a debt is not conduct commensurate with the laws of this State.”

Harvey was one of six WRPD NIU officers placed on administrative leave last month following the start of an investigation by the district attorney’s office. Four officers returned to duty within days, while another remains on leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

“We understand the impact such incidents can have on public trust, and we assure our community members that the WRPD will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our officers uphold the highest standards,” Whitehead siad.

The Houston County District Attorney’s Office says no evidence suggests systemic issues within WRPD or any other law enforcement agency in the county.

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