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Alpharetta detective fired for allegedly mishandling evidence
Man from Cumming gets felony drug charges in incident
Shawn Ryan Chapman
Shawn Ryan Chapman

The city of Alpharetta has fired a detective that was involved with a Forsyth County drug bust in early October 2017, which led to the arrest of a Cumming resident on various felony drug charges.

Shawn Ryan Chapman, hired to the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety force in January 2017, was fired on Dec. 14, 2017 at the conclusion of an internal affairs investigation into suspicious actions he allegedly made during the operation.

According to the internal affairs investigation report of Chapman’s alleged actions, the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety assisted the narcotics unit of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in the warranted search of a suspected drug dealer’s home in south Forsyth. 

Chapman was cleared of criminal charges by a GBI investigation, but was fired for allegedly violating several internal Alpharetta Department of Public Safety policies when he allegedly moved $4,000 from the master bedroom of the searched home. 

The internal affairs report stated that Forsyth County detectives were the first law enforcement officials into the home, and that Alpharetta detectives helped during the search. 

The report stated that Chapman was responsible for searching the “smoke room” on the main level of the house and that Chapman’s lieutenant placed him in that room because, “he thought this would be a good introduction for Detective Chapman, seeing as he was new to the unit.” 

The lieutenant stated in the report that around 7:04 p.m on Oct. 3, he received a text message from Chapman that stated, “If anyone ask (sic) I’m using the bathroom upstairs sorry it hit me.” 

The report stated that about 15 minutes later, the lieutenant walked upstairs and heard several detectives loudly asking, “Where is the money, where is the money” while searching the master bedroom for a bundle of cash that had been previously found and photographed in a nightstand in the bedroom. 

The lieutenant stated in the report that after the detectives had searched the room for two minutes, Chapman exited the washroom with the bundle of money in his hand. The lieutenant stated that he, “believes that Detective Chapman was in the washroom about 25 minutes.” 

According to the lieutenant, Chapman’s immediate response was, “you can search me.” The report stated that the lieutenant was bothered by that response.

Upon returning to the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety headquarters Chapman was placed on administrative leave and relieved of duty. 

In December, the internal affairs investigation into the incident was completed and that report stated that Chapman, “grossly mishandled evidence in a nefarious manner.” He was subsequently fired for four violations, including interfering with an investigation, mishandling evidence and making a false statement to internal affairs investigators. 

“While the GBI investigation did not find evidence of criminal activity, our internal affairs investigation did determine that Mr. Chapman violated multiple departmental and city policies that necessitated the termination of his employment,” said Alpharetta Assistant City Administrator James T. Drinkard.

Added Drinkard: “The trust of the public is the foundation of our ability to conduct the business of local government, and we cannot tolerate behavior that jeopardizes that trust or would reasonably cause citizens to question the integrity of their government.”

A release by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office from Oct. 13 stated that nearly 40 pounds of marijuana, $63,440 in cash, three assault rifles, two hand guns, oxycodone, amphetamine and bags of suspected “drug laced gummy bears” were found throughout the house.

Forsyth County deputies arrested 34-year-old Christopher Walker, a resident of Cumming, during the search. He was charged with six drug related felonies. 

Walker is being held in the Forsyth County Detention Center without bond.