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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Middle District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

August 29, 2013

Jerry E. Martin, United States Attorney

(615) 736-5151

Memphis Police Officer James Erwin Indicted for Being an Unlawful User of Cocaine in Possession of a Firearm

Memphis, TN — James Erwin, 39, of Memphis, TN, an officer with the Memphis Police Department, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of, and addicted to, cocaine base.

According to a criminal complaint filed on August 28, 2013, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives interviewed Erwin, who admitted to using a controlled substance for four months, including August 27, 2013, when he took his work–issued Sig Sauer pistol to a friend’s house. An individual advised Memphis Police Department officers that he has sold cocaine base to Erwin for several years, and that on August 27, 2013, that individual took several of Erwin’s personal items as security for Erwin’s crack cocaine debt.

If convicted, Erwin faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and supervised release of up to 3 years. This case was investigated by the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is made up of officers from the Memphis Police Department (MPD), the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Webber is representing the government.