Metro officer indicted in cocaine distribution conspiracy
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A 31-year-old Metro officer was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of fraud, attempting to distribute cocaine and money laundering, according to a new release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Officer Richard Wilson, a six-year officer, is accused of soliciting, demanding and accepting cash in connection with illegal transactions.
Police said Wilson's arrest is the result of a several month meticulous investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI.
Wilson, 31, graduated from the Metro Police Department Training Academy in June 2005. Prior to joining the police department, Wilson was a General Sessions Court security officer.
Until Tuesday night, Wilson was assigned to the DUI Unit in the police department's Traffic Section since December 2009. He was a patrol officer at the south precinct from March 2007 to December 2009. He was a patrol officer at the Hermitage Precinct prior to March 2007.
Also charged are Michael Dwayne Wray, 31, of Murfreesboro, TN., 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 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 is accused of 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, according to the indictment.
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 U.S. 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."
"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," Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said in a news release.
"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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
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