ALPHARETTA, Ga. — An Alpharetta detective is out of a job and the evidence against him is stacked.

Former Alpharetta Police Det. Shawn Ryan Chapman, initially placed on administrative leave, has been fired after an investigation concluded he mishandled thousands of dollars during a drug raid. 11Alive obtained this information through an open records request.

Last October, Chapman responded as part of a narcotics operation with his unit and the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office at a home in Cumming. They were there with a search warrant on the hunt for cocaine and money.

During the operation, detectives found a large amount of money in a nightstand tucked inside a check box. They also found pounds of marijuana in what they called a smoke room and other drug related items throughout the home.

Per policy, any evidence found is first supposed to be photographed and then collected by a designated person. After a Forsyth deputy found the money, it was left in the drawer until the proper steps could be taken to place it into evidence.

The team moved on and continued to search the house. But, when the evidence collector arrived to retrieve the money, it was no longer in the drawer. What is described as a very loud conversation broke out. One detective yelled, "Where's the f***ing money!"

This interaction went on for several minutes before Chapman emerged from the master bathroom holding the money in his hands. The other detectives took the money from him but then became suspicious of why he moved the money and was alone with it in the bathroom.

Sometime either before or during it all, Chapman sent a text to his supervisor saying he needed to use the restroom.

In the internal investigation report, that supervisor said he thought that was off because Chapman had never asked to use the restroom before, let alone in a suspect's home.

When asked about the incident later, Chapman said he found the money after checking the nightstand while looking for cocaine. That's when he opened the checkbox and found the money. He said he held on to it because it wanted to impress his boss.

Chapman said before checking the nightstand, he asked other detectives if it had already been searched and they told him no. But that’s when it hit him.

"I had to take a sh*t," he said.

He told investigators he took the money with him because it slipped his mind. He said his only fear was using the toilet on a search warrant scene.

After he exited the bathroom, he handed the money over to the detectives searching for it. Chapman said a band on the money said $4,000.

The next day, investigations into what happened began, including a GBI investigation that eventually did not lead to criminal charges.

In his interview, Chapman admitted that he mishandled the money.

The internal affairs investigation found that he violated several polices:

  • Members shall not interfere with cases being handled by other members of the Department or other government agency

  • Though several people assigned to a crime scene may participate in the search for and location of evidence, optimally only one person should collect the items located

  • Officers should assure the integrity of physical evidence by avoiding touching, handling or stepping on anything until the entire scene has been analyzed

  • Any member/employee, who makes a false or untruthful statement to any Internal Affairs Investigator, or representative thereof based on assignment, shall be immediately dismissed from further employment.

The investigation also found that the claim that Chapman stole money from the scene was not sustained. While it does not mean he is innocent, it means that the evidence available did not support the claim.

Chapman joined this department in January of 2017 as a patrol officer but was transferred to the Special Investigations Unit in July and got a five percent pay raise. The incident happened on Oct, 4. He was placed on administrative leave shortly after and on Dec. 13, he was fired.