Posted at: 02/28/2014 4:28 PM
Updated at: 03/01/2014 12:01 AM
By: Steve Flamisch
Deputy Charles E. Fuller, 46, of Corinth, allegedly transported a person and what he believed to be cocaine from Albany County to Warren County on two occasions.
Fuller, 46, of Corinth, allegedly transported a person and what he believed to be cocaine from Albany County to Warren County on two occasions, according to the criminal complaint. The person was an undercover FBI source; the cocaine was imitation.
The source paid Fuller $1,000 for the first run on February 19, and $4,000 for the second run on Thursday, according to the complaint. Asked where he wanted the money, Fuller – who was off-duty at the time -- allegedly told the source, "In my greedy little hand."
Fuller is charged with attempting to aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. If convicted, he faces a minimum of five years – and a maximum of 40 years – in prison, and up to $5 million in fines.
"The conduct by Deputy Sheriff Fuller alleged in the complaint constitutes a betrayal of both the citizens in the community that he is sworn to protect, but also the countless honest and dedicated law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe," U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said.
Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said he learned in January that FBI agents were monitoring Fuller, who remained on duty until he was taken into custody Friday in Zurlo’s office. He was arraigned before a federal judge in Albany.
"I’m disappointed," Zurlo said. "This doesn’t reflect on the men and women of the department. I have a great staff here. I have over 240 employees. It’s an obstacle that we will overcome."
Zurlo added that he is confident, after multiple conversations with the FBI, that no other members of the sheriff’s department were involved in the alleged drug transportation scheme.
Fuller was suspended without pay, and he was being held without bail until a detention hearing Monday. It was unclear if Fuller lives alone; no one answered the door at his home. Attempts to reach family members were not successful.