News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2009
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Former Memphis Police Officer and
Others Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Drugs

AUG 28 -- Memphis, TN- William Hardwig, 52, Lowell Duke, 37 and a former officer for the Memphis Police Department, and Edward Lance, 31, all of Memphis, have been charged in a three count federal indictment that was unsealed yesterday at the time of the defendants initial appearances in federal court, announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Atlanta Field Division (AFD), and Larry Godwin, Director of the Memphis Police Department.

According to the indictment, Hardwig, Duke and Lance conspired together to possess with the intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine and approximately 5 grams of crack cocaine. Hardwig and Duke are additionally charged with using a telephone to facilitate the drug crimes. Counts One and Two of the indictment carry a penalty of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years in prison. Count Three carries a penalty of up to four years in prison.

In a separate but related two count indictment, Arzell Harmon, 37, Nicholas Harmon, 30, Xavier Robinson, 38, Ottiano Ward, 34, David Lee Stockard, 46, and James Michael Gwin, 34, all of Memphis, are also charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. The counts carry penalties of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years in federal prison. With respect to these defendants, this case was unsealed today at the time of their initial appearances in federal court.

These cases are part of an on-going investigation being conducted by the DEA Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which is comprised of officers from the DEA, the Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Millington Police Department, the Germantown Police Department, the Bartlett Police Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the 25th and 30th Judicial District Drug Task Forces. Assistant United States Attorney David Pritchard is handling these cases for the government.

DEA AFD SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

 

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