Within the public eye, dealing drugs is often associated with violent crimes. It’s a narrative that has been pushed so much that it’s easy to forget that even most drug dealers have a moral compass. If we look back to episode 89 of Sword and Scale, wherein Matthew Hahn, an admitted former drug user and burglar, risked his own freedom when he turned over photos he found in a home he had robbed because it was the right thing to do, we can easily see that just because a person is willing to commit certain crimes they aren’t automatically an evil person.
Matthew Hahn’s story is one that we don’t often hear, a criminal turning in an even worse criminal, but it does happen more often than we know of. Most recently, a Georgia drug dealer who has not been publically identified is being credited for helping to solve the heinous murder of an elderly veteran.
On February 12, 2013, East Point, Georgia police were called to the home of 92-year-old Julius Dewberry. The home appeared to have been ransacked after someone had forced their way into a basement window. A TV, thousands of dollars in cash, and a jewelry box had all been missing from the scene. Inside the home, the body of Dewberry was found. He had been strangled to death with the rope still attached to his neck.
As police began piecing together the clues in order to determine who would commit such an awful crime against an elderly man who had served his country, not once but twice during both WWII and the Korean War, an unexpected tip came in. An unidentified drug dealer told police that Christopher Roberts, a career criminal, had traded the drug dealer Dewberry’s television set for drugs. Once the drug dealer learned the tv’s bloody origins, he says he “got rid of it.”
Roberts had been employed by the Dewberrys doing odd jobs around the home. He was also the last person to see Julius alive. Police were able to link information passed on by the drug dealer to information they had already connected to Roberts, including Roberts’ attempt to sell the jewelry box to family members and a Lincoln Town Car Roberts had paid for in $4,000 cash.
East Point Police Chief Tommy Gardner later said in a press release, “He [Dewberry] was proud of his service to this Country and he was proud of the life he built in East Point. That life was tragically taken from Mr. Dewberry’s wife, daughter, and the East Point Community. We are saddened by his death but find solace knowing that the defendant will be held accountable.”
Roberts has since pleaded guilty to felony murder and first-degree burglary. As for the drug dealer who is credited with helping police with information leading to Roberts’ arrest, he is now considered a hero for putting his own freedom on the line for his confession.