Federal authorities have arrested and charged a Rutherford County deputy following an undercover drug investigation involving the distribution of cocaine.
In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Luis R. Parra-Flores, 36, has been charged with conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, which was filed on March 13, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted a courier who arrived at the Nashville International Airport with 7 kilograms of cocaine in his luggage.
Detectives launched an undercover drug sting with the help of the man who was caught at the airport.
The affidavit alleges that Parra-Flores met with the cooperator and attempted to take delivery of the cocaine. After he did so, federal agents placed him under arrest and discovered that he was a deputy with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
“The actions of a few corrupt law enforcement officers harms the reputation of the many dedicated men and women who wear the badge with honor,” said U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin, who will be prosecuting the case.
“We will always pursue those few who choose to dishonor their badge and will bring them to justice,” he added.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Sheriff Robert Arnold announced Parra-Flores, who joined the department in 2008, was immediately fired from his position as a patrol deputy upon learning about the case.
“We had a dirty cop,” said Arnold, who was visibly angry and greatly disappointed about the incident. “It feels like we have all been kicked in the gut.”
Noting that his arrest was a complete shock, Arnold said Parra-Flores “failed the citizens of Rutherford County” and dedicated employees of the Sheriff’s Office, as well as “violated their trust.”
“We have a black eye and a bruised jaw,” Arnold said. “I am ashamed of his actions, and I apologize to the citizens of Rutherford County. He has tarnished his badge and ruined the trust the citizens placed in him. His employment was immediately terminated and his badge has been destroyed and will never be worn again.”