Three Nashville firefighters have resigned during an investigation about inappropriate female visits and lewd conduct at a Bordeaux fire station.
Engineer Kerry Sales and firefighter Quincy Corbitt, from Station 24, and firefighter Jason Copeland, from Station 11, submitted their resignations after they were alleged to have participated in a Aug. 21 incident during which women stripped for money and performed sex acts at Station 24.
The investigation, which is led by the Metro Police Department, also probed whether the fire station visits happened on multiple occasions.
These allegations came to light following an extortion attempt against Copeland and the firefighters at Station 24, and two people were later charged with extortion against the firefighters.
A report Thursday from Deputy Chief Kim Lawson said the allegations in the investigation were serious enough that the firefighters faced termination.
Firefighter Darrin Bell, also of Station 24, has been cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to active duty.
Lawson said the final investigation report is expected in the next few weeks.
How did this surface?
This incident came to light in late August when Metro police responded to General Hospital in regard to a woman who believed that she may have been drugged after visiting the Antioch home of Copeland.
In addition, the 23-year-old told officers that she and two friends had actually been to a fire hall on at least one occasion when Copeland was present to strip for money. There were also allegations of a woman or women performing sex acts for money.
Days later, during a police interview with Copeland, detectives learned that he was being extorted by a friend of the 23-year-old woman.
Copeland reported that he was called by suspected gang member Ray Dontrell Johnson, 26, and told that there would be "blood" if Copeland did not leave $500 at the Clarksville Pike Pizza Hut.
Copeland's employment was also allegedly threatened by the disclosure of his relationship with the 23-year-old.
Detectives set up a sting in which $500 was placed in the glove compartment of an undercover police vehicle.
Johnson arrived at the Pizza Hut with another man. After Johnson retrieved the money from the glove compartment, he and his friend, Cortez Deonte Smith, 20, were arrested. Both were booked on a charge of extortion Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old has offered significantly inconsistent statements in regard to what took place at Copeland's home, and there has been no finding at present of sexual activity occurring there, police said. A blood sample from the woman was taken at General Hospital to be analyzed for drug/alcohol content.
After discussion with the District Attorney's Office, the firefighters are not being charged with any prostitution offenses, in that, unlike a sting operation, any such activity would constitute a misdemeanor outside a police officer's presence.
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