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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Former Dumas Police Officer Sold Drugs in Uniform, Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison

LITTLE ROCK—Patrick C. Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that James Edgerson, 39, of Dumas, was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison for his role in a large-scale drug conspiracy.

On October 7, 2015, a federal Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Edgerson, who was a police officer at the time he committed his crimes, and five other people in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and crack cocaine, and marijuana. Edgerson also faced multiple drug distribution charges, as well as charges related to selling the drugs while carrying his police-issued firearm.

On February 2, 2017, Edgerson pleaded guilty to his role in the drug conspiracy. Edgerson also admitted to possessing a firearm and abusing his position of trust as a police officer. Today, Chief United States District Judge Brian S. Miller sentenced Edgerson to 135 months’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

“Police officers take an oath to protect and serve their communities,” Harris said. “Edgerson’s significant sentence reflects his absolute violation of this oath, and his abuse of the trust placed in him by members of his community. This sentence also demonstrates that no one is above the law, and people who sell drugs will be prosecuted, regardless of their position in society.”

Edgerson admitted to participating in the conspiracy from May 2015 through through September 2015. While he was working as a police officer for the Dumas Police Department, James Edgerson bought and sold cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana along with Kendrick Lamar Edgerson, Gregory Lamont Charles, Steven Sherrod Miles, Eli Haynes III and Rodney Lariel Edgerson.

James Edgerson obtained multi-ounce quantities of methamphetamine from Haynes for resale and redistribution to other individuals. For example, on August 25, 2015, James Edgerson called Haynes to arrange the purchase of methamphetamine. James Edgerson then traveled to meet Haynes in the Arlington, Texas, area, and purchased approximately nine ounces of methamphetamine. James Edgerson also purchased pound quantities of marijuana from Rodney Edgerson.

James Edgerson also sold drugs numerous times, including times while in uniform. As one example of multiple transactions, James Edgerson sold an informant nine ounces of cocaine for $11,300 on August 31, 2015, telling the source that he makes $50 on each ounce. On June 16, 2015, he completed a deal while in uniform and standing next to his police cruiser.

“James Edgerson betrayed the trust we place in police officers and the sentencing today is an indication of his total disregard for the citizens and law enforcement in our communities,” Upchurch said. “I commend the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District and the Arkansas State Police for their efforts, and the great work of our FBI team.”

Charles, Miles, Haynes, and Rodney Edgerson have all previously pleaded guilty. Kendrick Edgerson has trial pending on September 11, 2017.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI and Arkansas State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Julie Peters and Edward Walker. All defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated June 21, 2017