Former Shelby County Deputy Sentenced to 28 Months in Federal Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 21, 2011|
MEMPHIS, TN—Eric Curtis, 37, of Memphis, a former narcotics deputy with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson, announced United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Edward L. Stanton, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Memphis Bureau, Aaron T. Ford and Shelby County Sheriff, Bill Oldham. Curtis had previously pled guilty to making a false statement, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2).
According to an Information filed with the court, on or about August 8, 2008, Curtis identified an individual (“informant A”) as a potentially valuable informant. “Informant A” was on supervised release with the federal district court; therefore, Curtis appeared as a witness before the court and requested permission to allow “informant A” to work as an confidential informant.
The district court later sentenced “informant A” on his supervised release violation. During the sentencing hearing, Curtis again appeared in court and vouched for the value of information provided by “informant A” as a confidential informant. Curtis stated to the court that “informant A” had provided information that resulted in the arrest of numerous individuals and the recovery of a litany of narcotics.
On or about November 19, 2009, the defendant met with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During this meeting, Curtis reaffirmed to agents that “informant A” had in fact worked as a confidential informant. Curtis then detailed the items recovered as a result of “informant A’s” information. The defendant said that “informant A” was responsible for 7 felony arrests, the seizure of 1,504 dose units of Oxycontin, 4,536 grams of marijuana, 5 kilograms of cocaine, and $35,296 in cash.
Subsequently, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered that the number of arrests and items seized attributed to “informant A” by the defendant in federal court and to agents in the November 19th meeting were in fact a result of information provided by a number of different informants and not by “informant A.”
“Eric Curtis used his position as a Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy to blatantly deceive and lie to a United States District Court Judge and law enforcement officers,” stated United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III. “This type of conduct will not be tolerated, and we will continue to use every available resource to prosecute and bring to justice those individuals who seek to violate the public’s trust.”
“Law enforcement officials are held to a higher standard, and truthfulness and integrity are at the core of the law enforcement profession,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI. “When an officer can no longer be trusted due to a lack of regard for the truth, the FBI will take action to ensure that justice is served because no one is above the law.”
Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham says, “This again demonstrates our resolve to root out and prosecute this type of behavior.”
This case was investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, which is comprised of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Shelby County Sheriffs Office and the Memphis Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Coleman on behalf of the government.