MACON, Ga. (AP) — A former Georgia sheriff's deputy, who was arrested during an investigation into a violent extremist group, has been sentenced to serve more than three years in federal prison for possessing unregistered guns, prosecutors said.
Cody Richard Griggers, 28, was sentenced Tuesday to serve three years and eight months in prison followed by a year of supervised release. He had pleaded guilty in April.
“Law enforcement officers should be above reproach, and the vast majority of them are," Acting U.S. Attorney Peter Leary said in a news release. "Cody Griggers disgraced that trust by espousing violent extremism and possessing a cache of unregistered weapons while on duty, including a machine gun with a silencer and obliterated serial number.”
Griggers worked for the Wilkinson County Sheriff's Office in central Georgia. During a California investigation into a man making violent political statements on social media, FBI agents discovered a group text that included Griggers.
Griggers, who is white, used racial slurs, slurs against gay people and made frequent positive references to the Holocaust, prosecutors said. He also said in the group text that he was manufacturing and acquiring illegal firearms, explosives and suppressors.
Agents searched his home and his patrol vehicle on Nov. 19. They found multiple firearms, including a machine gun with an erased serial number, according to authorities. The machine gun was not issued to him, and he wasn't allowed to have it in his duty vehicle, authorities said.
Investigators found a total of 11 illegal runs, including an unregistered short barrel shotgun in his home, prosecutors said.
Wilkinson Sheriff Richard Chatman has said that Griggers worked for his agency for just over a year and was fired in November.