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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Memphis Police Officer James Erwin Indicted For Being An Unlawful User Of Cocaine In Possession Of A Firearm

Memphis, TN – James Erwin, 39, of Memphis, TN, an officer with the Memphis Police
Department, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for possessing a firearm while being an
unlawful user of, and addicted to, cocaine base.

According to a criminal complaint filed on August 28, 2013, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives interviewed Erwin, who admitted to using a controlled
substance for four months, including August 27, 2013, when he took his work-issued Sig Sauer
pistol to a friend’s house. An individual advised Memphis Police Department officers that he
has sold cocaine base to Erwin for several years, and that on August 27, 2013, that individual
took several of Erwin’s personal items as security for Erwin’s crack cocaine debt.

If convicted, Erwin faces up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and supervised
release of up to three years. This case was investigated by the Project Safe Neighborhoods
initiative, which is made up of officers from the Memphis Police Department (MPD), the Shelby
County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Webber is representing the government.

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The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the
defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 19, 2015