Fourth defendant sentenced in Memphis police corruption case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A former Memphis police officer who admitted accepting $4,500 in a sting operation was sentenced to four years in prison Monday.

"There's no excuse for my actions. I sincerely apologize to the citizens of Memphis and to my family," John D. Vaughan said. Vaughan was the last of four sentenced in the 2004 police corruption case.

Vaughan admitted accepting money to provide to protection to people he thought were drug dealers but really were undercover federal agents.

Officer David Tate, an 18-year police veteran, was accused of plotting a burglary, taking bribes from nightclubs, protecting drug dealers and transporting prostitutes to Tunica, Miss., casinos.

Tate was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Officer Billy Scott, who also is Vaughan's brother-in-law, received a seven year sentence and stripper April Veach received a 13-month sentence.

Tate was accused of planning a burglary of the home of pro wrestler and sometime politician Jerry "The King" Lawler, who Tate believed had hidden $200,000 in a jukebox.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)