Former Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to 63 Months in Federal Prison
Memphis, TN – A former Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy has been sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for one count of Hobbs Act extortion; one count of receipt of a bribe by a government agent and one count of solicitation to tamper with a witness. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence today.
After ten days of trial in December 2017 before U.S. Senior District Judge Samuel H. Mays, a federal jury convicted Jeremy Drewery of attempting to extort thousands of dollars from an alleged drug dealer in August of 2016. Drewery was also convicted of soliciting a person to tamper with the witness in the extortion case – thereby obstructing justice.
United States Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "Official misconduct and corruption by law enforcement officers in positions of trust and authority undermine the foundational integrity of our government institutions. We must root out, expose, and hold accountable those officials who violate the public trust by corrupt acts of extortion, bribery, and witness tampering, and this sentence does just that."
According to information presented in court, Drewery was assigned to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office’s Narcotics Division at the time of these events, but has since been terminated from the department. The evidence at trial showed that after executing a search warrant on the home of an alleged drug dealer, Drewery demanded money from the man. In exchange, Drewery would not institute a criminal case on the man. The alleged drug dealer contacted the FBI, which began an investigation. Over the course of three weeks, Drewery met with the alleged drug dealer and received a total of $8,000. Each of the meetings and numerous phone calls between Drewery and the alleged drug dealer were recorded.
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner said, "It is always a sad day when someone who was sworn to uphold the law is convicted of violating the law. This outcome is proof that no one is above the law. The Sheriff’s Office is proud to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to ensure equal justice for all."
The evidence at trial showed that, after Drewery’s arrest on the attempted extortion, he paid a confidential informant $2,000 to solicit a person to kill the alleged drug dealer.
"When law enforcement officers break the law they swear to uphold, they undermine the trust and confidence the citizens have that law enforcement will serve and protect them," said Michael T. Gavin, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "This sentence will send a strong message to those who would stray from their mission to uphold and enforce the law, that the FBI will aggressively identify, investigate, and bring you to justice."
At today’s sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Reagan Taylor requested an enhanced sentence for the defendant, describing the offense as "an egregious violation of the public’s trust in law enforcement." Judge Mays sentenced Drewery to 63 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release to begin after his period of incarceration.
This case was investigated by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, which is comprised of investigators from the FBI, Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Reagan M. Taylor and Mark Erskine prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.