Two Tennessee police officers face felony drug charges after they were arrested during an elaborate undercover sting, according to an affidavit.
Kevin Coleman and Terrion Bryson of the Memphis Police Department are charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver, and sell -- along with criminal attempt felony and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
In February, the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit received information that Coleman and Bryson were stealing money and drugs, according to an affidavit of complaint.
Investigators said the officers conducted two traffic stops while on duty and stole money from an undercover officer.
On April 5, Bryson began contacting an undercover officer about protecting a shipment of drugs that would be brought into Memphis, according to the affidavit.
Less than a week later, the officers told the undercover officer they wanted $10,000 to “offer security for the shipment of narcotics.” The pair then agreed to protect 2.5 kilograms of heroin, according to the documents.
During the negations, Coleman, while on duty, allegedly threatened physical harm to the undercover officer’s family if “the arrangement was a setup.”
Eventually, they agreed on a $9,000 fee for the officers to protect the shipment of drugs being brought into the city, according to the affidavit. They allegedly wanted $4,500 up front. Once the drugs got to Memphis they would protect them from being seized and they’d get the other $4,500, according to the affidavit.
On April 12, $4,000 was put into a vehicle in the parking lot of a Walmart in Memphis. Bryson came to the location, went into the vehicle and took the money as payment to protect the heroin, according to the affidavit.
Later that day, Bryson was off duty and Coleman was on duty driving a police car when they met the undercover officer, who they thought had the shipment of heroin. The two escorted the “shipment” to a storage unit, where they were given another $5,000, according to the affidavit.
The two officers left and went to another location, where they were arrested in the middle of a meeting.
Arresting officers recovered $5,020 from Bryson’s vehicle. Coleman told investigators he thought they were protecting three kilograms of heroin, according to the affidavit.
Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams said it’s a sad day when a police officer turns to crime.
"Even if you look at social media you have a lot of officer speaking out against this because they are out here working hard,” Williams said.
Williams says the accusations the officers are facing is a disgrace to the badge. "You can have a hundred attaboys and one boo-boo, something like this and it sets you back if not months but years of hard work,” Williams said.
Bryson and Coleman have been relieved of duty pending this investigation, police officials said.
Both will be in court Monday morning.
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