PIERCE COUNTY, Ga. -- A Pierce County sheriff's deputy appeared before a federal judge Friday for his alleged role in the trafficking of methamphetamine.
Deputy Randy Strickland, 55, was arrested Thursday on federal charges for drug trafficking.
Strickland allegedly agreed to act as "security" for people he believed were dealing meth by acting as the lookout.
"We're not above the law," said Sheriff Ramsey Bennett. "We took an oath to serve and protect and uphold the constitution and that's what we expect."
The drug deal allegedly went down in a rural area of Pierce County near Blackshear while Strickland was in uniform and while he was driving his police vehicle.
The talk of the town Friday wasn't the usual topic of high school football.
"You got a law officer with his uniform on and he's out there getting involved in drugs, it's sad," said one Blackshear resident.
Sheriff Bennett requested federal law enforcement assistance after learning about his deputy's activities.
"This is a situation where there are no winners," said Bennett. "This gives the Office of the Sheriff a black eye and erodes the confidence of the public in law enforcement. As sheriff, I will not tolerate this type of conduct. I want to reassure the public that we will police ourselves as well as the general public."
Strickland previously served in the Blackshear Police Dept. and within the ranks of the Brantley County Sheriff's Office.
The charge against Strickland carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years, and a fine of up to $5 million.
The case was investigated by ATF, HSI, FBI and local law enforcement.