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Justice News

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

Friday, February 5, 2016

Four Former Shelby County Jailers Sentenced for Conspiring to Distribute OxyContin

Memphis, TN – Four former Shelby County Corrections Deputies have all been sentenced to federal prison for attempting to smuggle and distribute OxyContin inside a correctional facility. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.

The defendants and their respective sentences include:

• Anthony Thomas: 1 month, 6 months home detention, 3 years supervised release
• Marcus Green: 12 months and 1 day, 2 years supervised release
• Torriano Vaughn: 12 months and 1 day, 3 years supervised release
• Brian Grammer: 12 months and 1 day, 2 years supervised release

According to information presented in court, all four defendants participated in a scheme to smuggle what they thought were OxyContin pills inside of the Shelby County Jail on multiple occasions between May and December 2014. After inmates informed law enforcement officers of the defendants’ illicit conduct, an undercover investigation was initiated. The investigation involved law enforcement agents posing as associates of cooperating inmates. These inmates would make arrangements with the jailers to have various amounts of OxyContin pills smuggled into jail in exchange for hundreds of dollars.

The undercover agents met with each jailer at various locations in the city. Three undercover transactions were conducted with each defendant. During these transactions, the agents provided the defendants with several hundred dollars and varying amounts of pills, which were presumed to be OxyContin. In actuality, the pills were "placebos," pills or substances that have no therapeutic effect. After each transaction, the defendants would smuggle the presumed OxyContin pills into the jail and provide them to cooperating inmates. All of the placebos provided to the jailers were ultimately recovered by law enforcement agents.

The investigation was conducted by the Tarnished Badge Task Force, which is comprised of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Shelby County Sheriff’s Department; and Memphis Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Fabian, Mark Erskine, and David Pritchard represented the government in the cases.

Updated February 5, 2016