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Ex-Blakely investigator sentenced

ALBANY — A former investigator with the Early County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison, court officials say.

According to court records, Jarrod “J.D.” Murkerson, 35, of Blakely, had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of extortion by a public official.

As a part of his plea, Murkerson admitted that in July 2011, while he was employed with the Early County Sheriff’s Office as an investigator, he provided information and protection to an illegal drug dealer. Officials say Murkerson was unaware that the drug dealer was working as a confidential informant with law enforcement.

Murkerson also admitted that he received $1,000 in exchange for the information and protection that was provided to the informant when he transported 9 ounces of cocaine through Early County, official say, and also that in August 2011 he agreed to sell the confidential informant steroids for $1,200.

“Any time a law enforcement officer violates the law that they have taken an oath to uphold, it causes the trust of the people they promised to protect and serve to erode,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.

Murkerson was sentenced in Albany by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands of the Middle District of Georgia, officials said. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Alan Dasher.