Four Glynn County officers have been indicted on multiple violations of oath charges related to the disbanding of a drug task force. The task force was disbanded after an internal affairs investigation revealed inappropriate behavior by officers, including having sex with confidential informants.
Court documents from Thursday show that department Chief John Powell and officers David Hassler, David Matthew Haney and Brian Scott are facing a variety of charges stemming from actions involving the now-disbanded Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team (GBNET).
Powell served as chief of police with the Glynn County Police Department. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of allegations against him, according to a release by the Glynn County Police Departement. He faces seven charges, including four violation of oath charges, two influencing a witness charges and one charge for criminal attempt to commit a felony.
Hassler served as the captain and commander of GBNET. He faces a total of seven charges, including five violation of oath charges, making a false statement charge and one perjury charge, according to court documents.
Haney served as a sergeant with the Glynn County Police Department and had served as a sergeant of GBNET. He faces a total of seven charges, including four violation of oath charges and three perjury charges, court documents said.
Scott served as a sergeant and chief of staff with the Glynn County Police Department. He faces four charges. They include two violation of oath charges, one charge for influencing a witness and one charge for criminal intent to commit a felony, according to court documents.
The internal affairs investigation into the task force began Feb. 4, 2019, after Glynn County police were notified of inappropriate behavior by former Glynn County officer and drug task force investigator James Cassada. The initial tip was that Cassada was “possibly involved in a sexual relationship with a confidential informant,” and possibly using and providing illegal narcotics to the informants, according to a letter obtained by First Coast News from then Glynn County Police Chief Powell.
During the investigation, it was determined that Cassada had sex with two confidential informants he had control over. In the report, the confidential informant told a state attorney she had been working for Cassada since 2014. She also stated she had smoked meth and had sex with Cassada on multiple occasions prior to Cassada checking into a rehab facility between late 2017 and early 2018.
The report also said, another investigator, Dustin Davis, told investigators that he had previously shared his concerns about Cassada’s activity with Capt. David Hassler, but no action was taken. Hassler told internal investigators on Feb. 11 that he did not remember discussing the issue with Davis.
Despite allegations that Cassada used and supplied cocaine and meth to two confidential informants, police were unable to find sufficient evidence, according to the internal affairs report.
He did, however, violate multiple internal polices including unbecoming conduct and violation of rules, the report says.
Cassada was hired by the Glynn County Police Department in July 2012. He resigned shortly after the investigation began. He previously worked for the Brunswick Police Department and served in the joint narcotics unit as a Brunswick Police Officer, according to Glynn County police.
As the investigation into Powell and the other officers continues, Jay Wiggins, who is the current director of Glynn County Emergency Management/ Homeland Security Agency, has been named as interim chief of Glynn County Police, according to a release by the Glynn County Police Department.