Detective: FBI should not have disbanded sex crimes task force - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Detective: FBI should not have disbanded sex crimes task force

RINGGOLD, GA (CBS46) -

City of Rossville police detective Dave Scroggins told CBS Atlanta reporter Jeff Chirico that he does not think the FBI should have disbanded a sex crimes task force currently the subject of an internal investigation. 

"Did [Ken Hillman] do some things I probably would not have done that? Yeah. Probably so," said Scroggins.

Ken Hillman, an FBI special agent who operated the northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, is under investigation for alleged misconduct, according to a bureau representative.

CBS Atlanta News has learned that Hillman is accused of abusing his authority and allowing civilians to participate in sting operations. 

Scroggins said the task force was incredibly successful and should have remained active while the FBI investigates. Without the task force, Scroggins said he fears for the safety of children.

"We aren't arresting anyone in this area right now for these crimes," said Scroggins.

Scroggins said defense attorney McCracken Poston stood to gain by reporting the allegations of Hillman's misconduct to the FBI.   Poston represents several suspects arrested by the task force.  

Poston provided dash cam video from a police car that he said showed Hillman being pulled over by local police for suspicion of driving under the influence.  In the video, it appears Hillman yells to the officer, "I'm FBI.  I'm going to a call.  I'm sorry." 

"Because of his badge and his connections he got out of at least three instances when he should have been investigated for driving under the influence. Maybe more," said Poston. 

Poston also reported that Hillman allowed civilians to participate in sensitive sting operations.

Catoosa County millionaire Emerson Russell and his wife Angela Russell reportedly handcuffed suspects and held guns during arrests. Neither are certified law enforcement officers.  

According to Poston, Angela Russell also communicated with suspects online to help lure them to Catoosa County.  Poston alleged some of those conversations occurred without supervision.  

"I think it brings into question current cases in terms of what procedures were being used. What conversations may have been had that we hadn't been given," said Poston. 

Buzz Franklin, district attorney for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, would not comment on the FBI investigation but said he does not believe the allegations will impact pending cases brought by the task force. 

A former member of the task force said he stands by the group's success in jailing more than 150 suspects. 

Attorneys for Emerson and Angela Russell said their clients declined to be interviewed.

Hillman also said he could not comment about the allegations. 

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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