Officer arrested on drug charges - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officer arrested on drug charges

Lowell Duke (Source: Memphis Police Department) Lowell Duke (Source: Memphis Police Department)

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis Police officer has been charged with putting cocaine and crack on the streets.

Charges that former officer Lowell Duke decided to become a criminal - rather than lock criminals up - brought his thirteen year career with the Memphis Police Department to a screeching halt Thursday.

"He was taken into custody on duty and put in the back of a patrol car," Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said Friday.

Meanwhile, Duke's fellow police officers looked on.

"The cops out there in a blue uniform are appalled by this," Godwin said.

The Drug Enforcement Agency claims Duke, 37, was part of a significant drug distribution organization operating at Lamar and Cherry.  In addition to Duke, a federal grand jury indicted nine others in the drug ring, which went on for nearly a year.

"They had specific roles - couriers, stash people, drivers, security people -they were distributing fairly significant amount of cocaine each week in that area," DEA Resident in Charge Keith Brown said.

At a press conference to announce the charges, Godwin worked to focus on the good cops rather than the bad.

"I know it doesn't look good for the department, but on the other hand, we're taking care of our business," he said.

Duke is now out on bond.  Prior to his arrest, he was on non-enforcement duties due to an unrelated internal investigation.

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