Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

DeKalb County Man Offers Over $20,000 in Attempt to Bribe Officers Out of His Arrest

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jan 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

Last Friday, the Dekalb County police received a call about a stolen vehicle seen parked at Serenade Apartments on Flat Shoals Parkway. They confirmed that it was in fact a stolen vehicle along with a few other cars in the lot. The cops began to stake out a car and watched Tristahn Ash get into one of the stolen vehicles and drive away. They pulled him over near Columbia Drive. Ash got out of the car and ran a few hundred feet away only to be detained. During his arrest, Ash reportedly offered a bribe of $20,000 to one of the officers and $15,000 to one of the detectives. He allegedly said, “Officer, my money is long. I got 20 bands. If you help me, I can help you.” Police also found 39 grams of marijuana and a scale in the vehicle, which was stolen out of Clayton County. 

As of yesterday, Ash still remains in jail, and he is looking at the high possibility of the following charges…


Bribery is a felony in Georgia, and Ash will be facing a prison sentence of one to 20 years and a maximum fine of $5,000 if convicted. The Georgia Code defines bribery as when a person “gives or offers to give any person acting for or on behalf of the state or any political subdivision thereof, or of any agency of either, any benefit, reward, or consideration to which he or she is not entitled with the purpose of influencing him or her in the performance of any act related to the functions of his or her office or employment.” (O.C.G.A. §16-10-2 (a1)). Simply, in this situation, the bribery charge involves Ash offering a promise of value to influence both the cop and the detective to violate their duties. 

Theft by Receiving

In order to be convicted of theft by receiving in Georgia, four elements must be proven. First, the accused person must have received the goods. Second, someone else stole the goods. Third, the accused person knew the goods had been stolen. And fourth, the accused person behaved with criminal intent. The Georgia Code defines theft by receiving as when a person “receives, disposes of, or retains stolen property which knows or should know was stolen unless the property is received, disposed of, or retained with intent to restore it to the owner.” (O.C.G.A. §16-8-7(a)). Here, Ash is reportedly facing the charge of theft by receiving, but if it is proven in court that he stole the vehicle, the charge might be dismissed. He would receive a new charge with theft by taking in the county where he stole the vehicle.

Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers

The Georgia Code defines obstructing law enforcement officers as when a person “knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, probation supervisor, parole supervisor, or conservation ranger in the lawful discharge of his official duties by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person.” (O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b)). In this case, since there was no allegation of violence towards the arresting officer, he will be charged with misdemeanor obstruction and would face up to 12 months in jail. 

Possession of Marijuana

According to the Georgia Code, “ is unlawful for any person to purchase, possess, or have under his control any controlled substance.” (O.C.G.A. 16-13-30(a)). 39 grams were found in the stolen vehicle, so in the state of Georgia, Ash is looking at felony possession of marijuana charge since it is over an ounce. If convicted, Ash is looking at one to ten years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Even if Ash says that the marijuana in the stolen vehicle was not his, it was still under his control. In Georgia, you are found to be in possession of marijuana although you are not personally holding it. If you are in control of the drug, then you are considered to be in possession of it.

Again, the above-mentioned charges are just some of Ash's possible charges. 

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Richard Lawson

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