Four Shelby County Jailers Indicted for Attempting to Smuggle Narcotics Into the Shelby County Jail
MEMPHIS, TN—Four Shelby County jailers were arrested late yesterday and early this morning on federal charges of attempting to smuggle OxyContin into the Shelby County Jail to provide to inmates.
The four defendants are named in federal indictments returned yesterday. The indictments allege attempted possession with the intent to distribute OxyContin, a schedule II controlled substance.
“As the indictments allege, these defendants participated in a scheme to accept bribes from inmates in exchange for violating the very laws they swore to uphold,” stated United States Attorney Edward Stanton III. “These individuals falsely believed that they were above the law, and now they are facing prison time behind the bars they once were responsible for guarding.”
Those named in the indictments are:
Anthony Thomas, 27, of Memphis, TN; Marcus Green, 33, of Covington, TN; Brian Grammer, 35, of Memphis, TN; and Torriano Vaughn, 28, of Cordova, TN.
The indictments allege that the defendants devised a scheme to smuggle OxyContin, a schedule II controlled substance, into the Shelby County Jail located at 201 Poplar, Memphis, TN. The defendants would allegedly contact inmates and offer to smuggle illegal drugs into the Shelby County Jail for a predetermined amount of money. The defendants would then meet a third party affiliated with the inmate at a location within the Memphis metropolitan area. The third party would give the defendants what they believed was OxyContin and the defendants would accept the money in return. The contraband would then be smuggled into the Shelby County Jail and given to inmates.
“Over a year ago we began a long term investigation regarding drugs being smuggled into our jail,” said Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham. “I want to thank the Tarnished Badge Task Force for their hard work. Special Agent Todd McCall for his support, U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton and in particular Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Coleman for his guidance and counsel with this investigation. Also, Attorney General Amy Weirich for her assistance in this investigation as well. This activity will not be tolerated. The Sheriff’s Office will attack this with all of the resources available to us. Finally, to the other employees willing to violate their oath and put jailers at risk we will get you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Public corruption is the number one criminal priority of the FBI, and we will always work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to root out those in a position of public trust who violate the law to line their own pockets,” said A. Todd McCall, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “These indictments send the message that the bad acts of a small few will not be allowed to continue and impugn the reputation of those who honorably serve the public day-in and day-out.”
The four defendants’ initial appearances will be held today. If they are convicted, they each would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Memphis Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian K. Coleman.
The charges and allegations contained in indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.