DOJ: Deputy tried to hire hitman to kill witness in extortion case

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee indicted a former Shelby County Sheriff's Office deputy for soliciting a person to murder a witness.

Jeremy Drewery, 42, was indicted in September for trying to extort thousands of dollars from a drug dealer. He was charged with several incidents of extortion dating back to 2013, according to Department of Justice officials.

He was assigned to the SCSO's Narcotics Task Force.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office investigators said Drewery solicited a person to kill one of the witnesses in the earlier indictment.

"He's supposed to uphold the law, not break the law," Shelby County resident Rossie McCollum said.

Drewery is charged with two counts of Hobbs Act Extortion, two counts of receipt of a bribe by a government official, and one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence.

According to the indictment, Drewery accepted money from people dating back to October 29 and December 21 of 2013. In that case, reports show he collected more than $5,000. The indictment also points out the same thing happening between August 2016 and December 2016.

Drewery was accused of collecting $8,000 from the drug dealer at three locations in exchange for his freedom.

"All I can tell you is that he was supposed to have an administrative hearing and he did show up for it and he was terminated," SCSO spokesman Earle Farrell said.

WMC Action News 5 investigated and found Drewery has won hundreds of thousands of dollars playing poker tournaments with the World Series of Poker. He most recently landed a $700 payout for a tournament in Tunica in January 2017. His biggest payout was $67,000 back in 2016.

"He's out there to protect and serve and here he is involved in all of this criminal activity," resident Charlotte Gaines said.

If convicted, he faces 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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