MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – For the 20th time this year a Memphis Police officer is accused of violating instead of upholding the law. This time the charges involve fake prescriptions.
The question now is why would a career police officer throw it all away for diet pills? The police director is at a loss.
Just in the last month, Officer Margaret Taylor charged with aggravated assault, Officer Sean McWhirter charged with sex trafficking, now, Officer Paula Jamerson charged with four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, deception, or forged prescription. The drug: phentermine, a diet pill obtained by prescription only.
"I can't explain it. I can't even begin to explain it to you," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.
According to the affidavit of complaint, it all started here at Medi-plan Diet Services on East Shelby Drive. Jamerson is accused of taking phentermine prescriptions out of patient files, somehow using them to later get them filled under her name at a pharmacy. The drug is addictive and has been known to be abused.
"I don't know if she was actually selling it or using it for her personal use," Armstrong said.
The director is addressing the arrest head on, just as he has the other 19 times this year.
"If I have to lock up 10 more this year or 100 more this year I'll do that," he said.
Armstrong doesn't believe criminal activity is a culture within the department or that officers are working together to break the law, but,
"If that's the case, then I will stand right here and tell you that's the case," Director Armstrong said. "I will never hide a dirty police officer."
Paula Jamerson has been with the department 12 years, assigned to the Ridgeway Station.
Jamerson is charged with stealing prescriptions four times from December 2011 to August 2012. Director Armstrong says he was aware the investigation was taking place.