law enforcement

Sessions ‘not shedding any tears’ over ICD raid on TN meatpacking plant

Speaking at a law enforcement conference in Gatlinburg, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to continue being strict on illegal immigration and said he’s “not shedding any tears”    over the recent ICE raid on a meatpacking plant in Grainger County, reports the News Sentinel.

Newly appointed U.S. District Attorney Doug Overbey introduced Sessions, who delivered a 25-minute speech including criticism of the “fuzzy-headed left” as well as promising to add 35 prosecutors and 18 immigration judges to border states to deal with backlogs on immigration cases.

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Doctor who advised TN legislature decries ‘overzealous’ raid on home, offices

The Johnson City home of Dr. Tom Reach, an addiction treatment physician who has been involved in developing Tennessee legislation, and the eight recovery centers he operates in Virginia and Tennessee were raided Wednesday by federal agents, reports the Johnson City Press. Reach says the action was an “overzealous” move tied to the “current political environment” —  and noted several local politicians have visited his facilities.

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Controversial Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson defeated in GOP primary

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, a former state representative whose term as chief of county law enforcement has been mired by controversy, was defeated in Tuesday’s Republican primary by Steve Lawson, who resigned as head of criminal investigations under Watson earlier this year.

Lawson had 8,179 votes; Watson 7,004. There’s no Democrat on the ballot, so Lawson is assured of winning the office in the Aug. 2 general election.

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Emails suggest TN Highway Patrol setting ticket quotas for troopers

Emails sent to West Tennessee state troopers indicate “what some say are quotas set by high ups at the Tennessee Highway Patrol,” reports WREG-TV of Memphis.

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TBI reports 2017 increase in ‘hate crime’ and assaults on law enforcement officers

Press release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

NASHVILLE – Today, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released two reports, detailing the volume and nature of crime identified as hate crime and violence against the state’s law enforcement officers. The annual studies compile crime data submitted to TBI by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS).

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With two new nominees, Trump completes TN U.S. marshal appointments (all three previous GOP political appointees)

Former state Rep. Barrett Rich, currently a member of the Tennessee state Board of Paroles, and Denny King, who headed the state Department of Safety under former Gov. Don Sundquist, have been nominated by President Trump to become U.S. Marshals.

Rich (R-Somerville) chose not to seek reelection to the House District 94 seat in 2014 and was appointed after his term expired to the Board of Paroles by Gov. Bill Haslam. King previously served as U.S. marshal for Middle Tennessee, after his tenure as safety commissioner, under appointment of former President George W. Bush.

Trump had previously nominated David Jolley as U.S. marshal for East Tennessee and his appointment has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The King and Rich nominations await confirmation. Jolley also served as U.S. marshal for East Tennessee under former President George W. Bush and is the husband of Jane Jolley, East Tennessee field coordinator for Sen. Bob Corker.

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Indictment against two TBI agents for alleged illegal search dismissed

Dyer County Circuit Court Judge Roy B. Morgan has dismissed indictments handed down in March against TBI Agents Mark Reynolds and Jeff Jackson with approval of the current local district attorney general and with grumbling from those who made allegations that they conducted an illegal search, reports the Dyersburg State Gazette.

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List for appointment as new TBI director narrowed to ten

About 45 people submitted applications to become the next director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after current Director Mark Gwyn retires, reports WTVF. The TBI Nominating Commission cut the list down to ten persons on Wednesday. The ten will all be interviewed at a public meeting by the panel May 15 before it submits three final nominees to Gov. Bill Haslam, who will then appoint one.

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Legislators unanimously approve overhaul of TN forfeiture laws

A bill providing new protections for people to regain property and cash seized by Tennessee law enforcement officials is headed to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk after receiving state Senate approval Thursday, reports the Times Free Press.

The bill (HB2021) was sponsored by Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah). It passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

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Two TBI agents indicted on charges stemming from alleged illegal search

Two Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents have been indicted by a Lake County grand jury on assault and kidnapping charges stemming from an allegedly illegal search of a Ridgely residence in 2015, according to the Dyersburg State Gazette.

The homeowners, Fred Austin Wortman Jr. and his wife, Marilyn, have also filed civil lawsuits over the search by TBI agents Mark Reynolds and Jeff Jackson.

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