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Narcotics squad disbanded after sexual misconduct investigation

Investigation also brought forth accusations of drug use with informants

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The Glynn/Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team was disbanded after an internal investigation into a former officer brought forth accusations of sexual misconduct and drug use with confidential informants.

The investigation into former police detective James Cassada began after reports that he was taking illegal drugs and sexually involved with two informants, Chief John Powell told The Brunswick News. Cassada resigned shortly after the Glynn County Police Department began its internal investigation in February.

The results of the investigation led to disciplinary action against two other members of the Police Department, The Brunswick News wrote. Capt. David Hassler faces disciplinary action for giving conflicting statements to detectives, Powell said.

According to Powell, investigator John Simpson was reassigned after it was determined he had an ongoing friendship with a convicted drug manufacturer.

Matthew Starling, a Brunswick resident, found the charges shocking.

"These are people we look up to that are supposed to lead by example," Starling said. "It's tough to hear. The people you trust to get the stuff off the street are doing the stuff."

The narcotics unit was comprised of officers from both the Glynn County Police Department and the Brunswick Police Department. Plans are underway to replace the unit with a new, countywide criminal investigations unit.

A narcotics expert said the disbandment could impact narcotics cases that have yet to be adjudicated, and some of those cases could get dropped.

A call to the assistant police chief's office for comment was not immediately returned Friday.


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