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Press Release

Former Tennessee Deputy Sheriff Sentenced
for Using Excessive Force

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – Adam S. Pretti, a former deputy with the Shelby County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced today in federal court in Memphis to 18 months in prison and two years of supervised release for using excessive force during an encounter with a citizen. Pretti was also ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.

Pretti pleaded guilty on April 9, 2009, to unnecessarily striking in the head a man he encountered outside a residence in Cordova, Tenn., while conducting an investigation in March or April 2006. Pretti acknowledged that he abused his authority as a law enforcement officer and agreed that his conduct violated federal law and the constitutional rights of the man he struck.

"The Civil Rights Division will continue to investigate and prosecute rogue police officers who abuse the rights of those they are sworn to protect and serve," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King for the Civil Rights Division.

"The sentence should serve as a reminder and message to those law enforcement officers who violate the protections of the Fourth Amendment that their actions are unacceptable, they will be prosecuted and they will serve time," added Lawrence J. Laurenzi, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. "The U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to make such cases a priority."

The case was investigated by the Tarnished Blue Task Force, a multiagency task force led by the FBI and staffed with investigators from its Memphis Field Office, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Memphis Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Murphy for the Western District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Erin Aslan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Updated September 15, 2014

Press Release Number: 09-938