Ex-DeKalb cop sentenced on federal charges

ATLANTA -- A Lilburn resident and former DeKalb County police officer pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to charges stemming from assisting alleged criminals and lying to federal agents, officials said.

Starting in April of last year, Donald Bristol, 41, reportedly "used his position as a DeKalb County police officer" to help a pair of separately charged defendants hide the fact that the car they were using was stolen. He also "misused his access" to a sensitive law enforcement database, provide those associates with information, officials said.

When questioned about his actions, Bristol then made "numerous" false statements to federal agents.

"This defendant was a criminal in a police officer's uniform," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. "The evidence showed that during his tenure as a police officer, he violated the very laws that he had sworn to enforce."

On May 25, Bristol was charged with a 10-count indictment. Friday, he pleaded guilty to aiding others to possess and hide a stolen vehicle, unlawfully accessing governmental information and lying to federal agents.

The most serious of the charges carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, officials said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18.