law enforcement

More than 3,700 probation or parole violators now at large in TN

More than 3,700 convicted criminals under the community supervision of the Tennessee Department of Correction are now at large, according to state records reported by WJHL-TV. TDOC confirmed all of those people are in “warrant status” for violating the terms of their probation or parole.

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Appeals court finds $250 DUI fine — used in financing TBI — unconstitutional

An appeals court has ruled unconstitutional a state law that requires every person convicted of DUI through a blood or breath test pay a fee that that helps fund the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, reports the Associated Press.

Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville says the $250 fee violates due process and calls into question the trustworthiness of test results obtained by the bureau’s forensic scientists. State law requires the money to go to the bureau’s intoxicant testing fund.

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More on Nashville mayor’s extramarital affair

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says her extramarital affair was with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr., who heads her security detail, and began in the spring or summer of 2016, just months after she entered office the previous fall, reports The Tennessean.

Forrest submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17. His final day was Wednesday.

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Sen. Lundberg tangled in flap over firing of policeman who ticketed his daughter

Bristol city officials were concerned about “political interference and retaliation” by state Sen. Jon Lundberg after his daughter was ticketed by a police officer who was subsequently fired, reports the Bristol Herald Courier.

The Bristol Republican says he did not try to get his daughter out of the ticket and has actively opposed dismissal of officer Phil Kiersnowski – though he contacted the city police chief at the time to jokingly remark on his wife and daughter both being ticketed  by Bristol police on the same day.

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Legislative candidate contends TBI raid on residence was politically motivated

Jeremy Hayes, a candidate for the Republican nomination in House District 57, says a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation raid on a residence where he is selling was aimed at sabotaging his race against incumbent Republican Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet). The TBI says it was investigating allegations that Hayes lives in Davidson County but has voted in Wilson County, which is also home to House District 57.

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TN Supremes look to legislators’ intent in backing multiple gun crime convictions

Reversing the an appellate court decision after reviewing state legislators’ intent in enactment of a state law, the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that defendants can be convicted on multiple counts of using a gun in the commission of a crime – not just one.

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Comptroller questions TBI spending over budget, using reserves

Press release from state Comptroller’s Office:

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has released a special report examining several aspects of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s fiscal operations, including an analysis of TBI’s budget, the procurement of its Pilatus airplane, staffing, and grants and contracts.

The special report was initiated after Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) called for an examination of TBI’s budgeting and accounting practices. The General Assembly included language within the 2017 Appropriations Act requiring the review to be complete by January 31, 2018.

The Comptroller’s Office found TBI’s expenditures have exceeded its budgeted estimates since 2014, and TBI has relied on its various reserve funds for its continued operations. These accounts have been greatly diminished as TBI has used these funds. The Comptroller’s Office concluded that TBI and the Department of Finance and Administration should commit to improve communication during the budget process.

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Charges against Bradley County sheriff dropped

A special prosecutor has dismissed all 12 felony counts against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, who was facing trial Jan. 22 on charges of forging automobile titles, reports the Times Free Press.

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TBI director ‘deeply concerned’ with surge in TN gun-related crime (up 25 percent, 2013 through 2016)

Press release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a report today (Thursday) detailing the nature and volume of reported firearms-related crime across the state over a four-year period.

The report, “Firearm Violence in Tennessee: 2013-2016,” utilizes data submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS). Among the report’s findings:

  • From 2013 to 2016, firearm-related criminal offenses increased by 24.8%.
  • The number of reported Murders involving a firearm increased by 54.7% in the four-year study period.
  • Aggravated Assaults accounted for the largest portion of reported firearms-related crime, and increased by 30.5% from 2013 to 2016.
  • Males (85.8%) were nine times more likely to engage in firearm-related criminal offenses than Females (8.8%).

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20 illegal aliens arrested in Memphis

Press release from U.S. Department of Justice

Memphis, TN – D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced today that 20 individuals have been indicted for working under false identities.

On November 28, 2017, law enforcement arrested 20 illegal aliens working under false identities. A Memphis employment agency, Provide Staffing, assigned multiple employees to Expeditors International, a freight forwarder based in Memphis.

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