Former deputy convicted of extortion, trying to kill witness

Former deputy convicted of extortion, trying to kill witness

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A federal jury convicted a former deputy of attempted extortion and trying to hire a hitman to kill a witness.

Jeremy Drewery, 42, of Arlington, Tennessee, tried to extort thousands of dollars from a suspected drug dealer.

Drewery worked for Shelby County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Task Force. He was also a professional poker player.

In 2013, Drewery executed a search warrant at the drug dealer's home. Drewery demanded the man pay him money or go to jail. The drug dealer contacted the FBI.

Investigators said Drewery took thousands of dollars from the suspected drug dealer in exchange for not arresting him.

After Drewery was arrested for the crimes, he contacted a hitman in an attempt to kill the drug dealer before the trial.

"Official misconduct and corruption by law enforcement officers in positions of trust and authority undermine the foundational integrity of our government institutions," U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant said. "We must root out, expose, and hold accountable those officials who violate the public trust by corrupt acts of extortion, bribery, and witness tampering, and this verdict does just that."

Drewery will be sentenced March 30, 2018. He faces 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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