Metropolitan Nashville Police Officer Richard Wilson, 31, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury for corruptly soliciting, demanding, and accepting cash in connection with transactions related to his duties as a police officer, attempting to distribute cocaine, and money laundering, announced Jerry E. Martin, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, Amy S. Hess, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Chief Steve Anderson, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Also charged in the indictment are Michael Dwayne Wray , 31, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Adam Yates, 32, of Nashville. Wray is charged with attempting to distribute cocaine and money laundering. Yates is charged with attempting to distribute cocaine.
According to the indictment, between the dates of April 5, 2011, and June 15, 2011, Wilson, committed federal program fraud. Additionally, Wilson is charged with attempting to distribute cocaine on two dates. Wilson received cash payments totaling $24,500 for his assistance to individuals he believed to be drug traffickers. Wilson’s assistance included transporting what he believed to be cocaine and drug money to locations in and around Nashville. On three occasions, Wilson was on duty, in uniform, and in an official police vehicle while assisting individuals who he believed to be drug traffickers. Wilson is also charged with money laundering in connection with one of the transactions.
“Today’s indictment is the result of collaboration between this office, the FBI and the Metro Police Department. It is plainly evident to me that Chief Anderson and the leadership of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department will not tolerate corruption. Today’s indictment is not a reflection of the integrity of the many brave men and women of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department who constantly strive to honor the oath they have taken to protect and serve,” said United States Attorney Jerry Martin. “The public should be confident that we will doggedly pursue anyone who hides behind a gun and a badge to commit criminal acts.”
“Public corruption is one of our highest priorities at the FBI,” said Amy S. Hess, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI. “The egregious acts alleged in the indictment damage the trust the public places in law enforcement, and the FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate those who violate their oath and break the law.”
“This intensive investigation conducted by the FBI and the MNPD indicates that Wilson has betrayed the trust of Nashville’s citizens and the more than 1,800 honest and very hard working employees of our police department,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “We asked the FBI to join us in a covert investigation of Wilson due to the very serious and intolerable information our department had received. It is important to note that no other employees of the MNPD have been implicated. Our continued partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI ensures that all reports of criminal behavior will be investigated, no matter who may be involved,” Anderson said.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. The United States is represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Scarlett M. Singleton and Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial, at which the government must bear the burden of proof.