Former Memphis Police Officer, Kevin Coleman, 41, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for narcotics and extortion offenses committed while on duty. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in court, in early 2018, FBI and MPD-OCU initiated a joint investigation into possible criminal activity by Coleman. As part of an undercover operation, on March 7, 2018, Coleman was provided with identifying information on a vehicle operated by an undercover officer (UC), who Coleman believed to be a drug dealer. Coleman, while on duty, conducted a targeted traffic stop. During the traffic stop, Coleman placed the UC in handcuffs and directed him/her to the back seat of his MPD patrol vehicle. Coleman then searched the vehicle operated by the UC and removed $5000 in undercover funds from the vehicle.
On March 15, 2018, Coleman was given identifying information on a vehicle operated by another undercover officer, who Coleman believed to be a drug dealer. Coleman, again while on duty, conducted a targeted traffic stop. During the traffic stop, Coleman searched the vehicle and removed $8,000 in undercover funds, which had been placed in the center console prior to the traffic stop.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “Official misconduct and corruption by law enforcement officers strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice system, and damages the trust and confidence of citizens in proper police authority. When police officers use their badges to become drug dealers and highway robbers, it is our duty to expose their corruption, hold them accountable, and protect society from their dishonesty. This sentence will hopefully deter other corrupt police behavior, restore the public’s faith in honest officers, and send a message that nobody is above the law.”
In April of 2018, Coleman agreed, together with MPD officer Terrion Bryson, 26, to escort approximately 2.5 kilograms of heroin to a storage facility in Memphis. Coleman was on duty, in his squad car at the time of the escort. Bryson, armed with a handgun, accompanied the driver, an undercover MPD officer, in the car with the heroin. Both Coleman and Bryson were arrested shortly thereafter.
“Former officer Coleman swore to be a public servant and abide by the law. He has pled to some very despicable charges. His actions are contrary to the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of who loyally serve the citizens of this city. As Director, I will take swift action to remove anyone who fails to adhere to and uphold the high standards set forth in our law enforcement code of ethics,” said Michael T. Rallings, Director, Memphis Police Department.
This sentencing sends a message that no one is above the law, especially those who have sworn an oath to uphold the law,” said Jeremy N. Baker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Public corruption investigations such as this continue to be a priority for the FBI due to the immeasurable harm corruption causes in our communities and to the reputations of all law enforcement officers, the majority of which are honest, hardworking men and women who serve with honor and integrity.”
On November 19, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr., sentenced Coleman to 120 months imprisonment followed by 5 years of supervised release. Bryson has entered a guilty plea and is currently awaiting sentencing.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Memphis Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Pritchard prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.