Former Memphis Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Narcotics and Civil Rights Violations
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 30, 2012|
MEMPHIS—Melvin Victor Robinson, age 32, a former Memphis Police officer, pled guilty to one count of attempting to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. Section 846; one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 242; and conspiracy against rights, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 242, announced Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
On January 26, 2012, an informant contacted Robinson and contracted the sale and purchase of 10 kilograms of cocaine. According to facts stated in court, Robinson met the informant while he was on duty and in his police car. The informant told Robinson that the cocaine was stored inside a trailer located at a trucking lot in south Memphis. The informant then provided Robinson with the key and location of the trailer. Approximately 10 minutes later, special agents and task force officers of the FBI observed Robinson exit his police car and enter the trailer. Robinson later exited the trailer and placed a black duffel bag containing what he believed to be cocaine inside his police car.
Robinson also pled guilty to stealing money from Jwan Boddie. On November 14, 2011, Boddie was detained by Robinson during an arrest while Robinson was working as a MPD officer. According to facts stated in court, Robinson and his partner responded to a narcotics call at the Colonial Inn where they found Boddie in his hotel room. During that search, Robinson admitted to stealing $700 and later distributing the money with his partner.
Robinson also pled guilty to striking Jeremy Pettis during an arrest in April 2011. According to facts stated in court, Robinson detained and punched Pettis in the face while he was sitting in his vehicle.
Robinson is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2, 2012; and faces up to life in prison, a $10,000,000 fine, plus 10 years’ supervised release.
“The people of Memphis place great trust in their law enforcement officers. Melvin Robinson violated that trust not only by attempting to possess illegal narcotics but by violating the civil rights of those citizens he swore to protect and serve,” said Edward L. Stanton, III, United States Attorney. “When law enforcement officials abuse the public’s trust, our office will remain steadfast in prosecuting these individuals and ultimately ensuring justice is served.”
“The criminal behavior of a police officer harms the integrity of all of law enforcement,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The hard work by the FBI and our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute this case stands as a reminder that the majority of law enforcement officers serve and protect their communities honorably.”
This crime was investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Memphis Police Department, and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Coleman on behalf of the government.