U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee
(901) 544-4231
August 20, 2015

Four Former Shelby County Jailers Plead Guilty to Attempted Possession of a Controlled Substance

MEMPHIS, TN—Four former Shelby County Corrections Deputies have all pled guilty to attempting to smuggle and distribute OxyContin inside a correctional facility. The pleas were announced by Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

According to the indictments, the four defendants—Torriano Vaughn, Brian Grammer, Anthony Thomas, and Marcus Green—all participated in a scheme to smuggle what they thought were OxyContin pills inside of the Shelby County Jail on multiple occasions between May and December 2014.

After inmates informed law enforcement officers of the defendants’ illicit conduct, an undercover investigation was initiated. The investigation involved law enforcement agents posing as associates of cooperating inmates. These inmates would make arrangements with the jailers to have various amounts of OxyContin pills smuggled into jail in exchange for hundreds of dollars.

The undercover agents posing as associates of the inmates met with each jailer at various locations in the city. Three undercover transactions were conducted with each defendant. During these transactions, the agents provided the defendants with several hundred dollars and varying amounts of pills, which were presumed to be OxyContin. In actuality, the pills were “placebos,” a pill or substance that has no therapeutic effect. After each transaction, the defendants would smuggle the presumed OxyContin pills into the jail and provide them to cooperating inmates. All of the placebos provided to the jailers were ultimately recovered by law enforcement agents.

All four defendants have pled guilty to attempted possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

They each face up to 20 years’ imprisonment when convicted. Each defendant also faces up to a $1 million fine.

Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, October 9th at 9:30 a.m. by Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr.

Green is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, October 23rd at 11 a.m. by Judge Jon Phipps McCalla.

Grammer is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, November 3rd at 9:30 a.m. by Judge Jon Phipps McCalla.

Vaughn is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, November 6th, at 9:30 a.m. by Judge Sheryl H. Lipman.

The case was investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force. The collective is comprised of: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, and Memphis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian K. Coleman is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

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