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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Former Nashville Metro Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Federal Theft and Money Laundering Charges

Admits to Stealing More Than 100k During Search Warrant Executions

Former Nashville Metropolitan Police Department (MNPD) Sergeant James Dunaway pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to theft from an entity that receives federal program funds and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Dunaway, 43, of Old Hickory, Tennessee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 2, 2018. 

According to the indictment, during the period of November 18, 2015 through November 16, 2017, Dunaway was a supervisor in the MNPD Specialized Investigation Division-Narcotics Unit and was responsible, among other things, for monitoring and executing search warrants. 

Dunaway admitted during the plea hearing that during the execution of search warrants on five separate occasions, he stole a portion of the cash discovered and seized at each location, including:

The November 18, 2015 search of a residence off Pleasant Hill Road in Nashville, where more than $100,000 was seized;

The April 10, 2017 search of a residence off Robertson Road in Nashville, where more than $500,000 was seized;

The April 26, 2017 search of a residence off Pleasant Hill Road in Nashville, where more than $182,000 was seized;

The September 13, 2017 search of a residence off Spencer Enclave Way in Nashville, where more than $70,000 was seized; and

The November 15, 2017 search of a hotel room in which the MNPD Office of Professional Accountability had placed marijuana, $28,000 cash and video cameras for the purpose of conducting an integrity check.  Video cameras captured Dunaway placing money in his pockets during the search and the indictment alleges that Dunaway stole $5,860.00 during the execution of this search warrant.

Dunaway also admitted that between April 11, 2017 and May 8, 2017, he made approximately $40,540.00 in cash deposits and on May 1, 2017, he obtained a cashier’s check with $42,500.00 cash, which he stole during the searches.  Dunaway then used the cashier’s check to purchase a 2014 Toyota Sequoia.

Dunaway admitted that during the course of this scheme, he embezzled, stole and converted approximately $109,910.00 to his own use.

The plea agreement calls for the immediate forfeiture of the 2014 Toyota Sequoia and total restitution in the amount of $109,910.00.

Dunaway faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on October 24, 2018.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.  U.S. Attorney Don Cochran and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Raybould are prosecuting the case.

Public Corruption
David Boling Public Information Officer 615-736-5956
Updated July 10, 2018