Sheriff's Deputy charged with tipping bad guys about informants

Deputy Thomas Braswell (Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Deputy Thomas Braswell (Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

Shelby County Sheriff's officials say one of their own was arrested and charged with taking money in exchange for information about possible confidential informants.

Click here to read the federal indictment.

Below is the news release from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office:

Deputy Thomas Braswell, who has been a Sheriff's Deputy since October of 2001, was arrested last evening by investigators with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and the F.B.I. "Tarnished Blue Task Force."

"An internal investigation by the Sheriff's Office led to these charges.  When it came to our attention this officer might be involved in illegal activity, we quickly alerted the 'Tarnished Blue Task Force' which investigates alleged wrong-doing of law enforcement officers.  These are serious allegations which affect the public's trust of the department.  We will continue to assist the United States Attorney's Office in this investigation," said Shelby County Sheriff Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

Information about Deputy Braswell's arrest was included in a statement released today by the United States Attorney's Office: "He was arrested yesterday, and search warrants were executed at his residence and on his personal vehicle.  He is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).  According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Braswell received $500 from an informant posing as an agent of a substantial dealer in steroids and cocaine in exchange providing information about whether certain individuals were informants for law enforcement, including information from the Sheriff's Office computer system."

Braswell has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.  Deputy Braswell was released from federal custody this morning on $5,000 bond.

The investigation regarding the charge against Braswell continues.