published Friday, August 30th, 2013

Memphis officer charged with using cocaine

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Federal prosecutors say a Memphis police officer has been charged with possessing a firearm while using cocaine.

The U.S. attorney's office says 39-year-old James Erwin told federal agents that he used a controlled substance on Tuesday, when he took his work-issued Sig Sauer pistol to a friend's house. Prosecutors say Erwin acknowledged using drugs for four months.

Prosecutors also said someone told Memphis Police Department officers that he sold cocaine base to Erwin for several years, and that he took several of Erwin's personal items as security for Erwin's crack cocaine debt.

In a court appearance Thursday, Erwin told a magistrate judge that he plans to hire a lawyer.

About 25 Memphis Police Department officers have been arrested on various charges since January 2012.

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