Club Owner, Law Enforcement Officers Indicted on Charges of Receiving Stolen Merchandise
Memphis, TN – A club owner, Memphis Police officer and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office sergeant have all been indicted for their alleged roles in buying liquor, electronics and footwear they believed to be stolen. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee; Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings; and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham announced the indictments today.
"Individuals who engage in criminal conduct and violate the public’s trust, including those who take an oath to protect and serve our community, will be held accountable for their actions," said U.S. Attorney Stanton. "No one is above the law."
The defendants include:
• Roy Hughes, 57, of Memphis, Tennessee
• Warren Jones, 63, of Memphis, Tennessee
• Torrance Taylor, 41, of Millington, Tennessee
Hughes is reportedly the owner of the Gentlemen’s Club on Thomas Street. Jones is a sergeant with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. And Taylor is an officer with the Memphis Police Department.
According to the indictment, between October 2015 and May 2016, Hughes unlawfully received cases of liquor and electronic devices, including Apple iPhones, a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and a Samsung Gear watch, from an individual acting at the direction of federal law enforcement officers. Hughes allegedly knew the items, worth more than $1,000, were stolen. He also transported cases of liquor from Mississippi to Memphis for resale at the Gentlemen’s Club.
Taylor and Jones, both law enforcement officers, also bought property they believed was stolen from an individual acting at the direction of federal law enforcement officers.
"The alleged actions taken by these law enforcement officers are unacceptable and will not be tolerated," said Director Rallings. "As I have said many times, no one is above the law. This alleged unlawful behavior in no way should be a reflection on the officers who continue to work hard and diligently to serve and protect the citizens of Memphis."
"We continually work to seek out those in law enforcement who violate their oath of office and commit criminal acts," said Sheriff Oldham. "The Sheriff’s Office fully supports and participates with all of our law enforcement partners in this effort."
On Monday, August 22, all three defendants had their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane K. Vescovo.
Hughes is charged with one count of knowingly receivingmore than $1,000 worth of cases of liquor and assorted electronics, including Apple iPhones, a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a Samsung Gear watch, and believing the property was stolen based on the representations of a person acting at the direction of a federal law enforcement officer.
Hughes is also charged with one count of unlawfully transporting more than $5,000 worth of cases of liquor and Apple iPhones from Mississippi to Tennessee, believing the property was stolen based on representations of a person acting at the direction of a federal law enforcement officer.
Jones is charged with one count of knowingly receiving Samsung Galaxy Tablets and a DeWalt tool kit worth more than $1,000, and believing the property was stolen based on representations of a person acting at the direction of a federal law enforcement officer.
Taylor is charged with one count of receiving more than $1,000 worth of boots and shoes, and believing the property was stolen based on representations of a person acting at the direction of a federal law enforcement officer.
All of the aforementioned charges carry individual penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.
This case is being investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Erskine is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.