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A McMinn County Sheriff's detective has been fired from his job in a month-long Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe that has not yet led to criminal charges.

Detective Josh Rhodes, a narcotics investigator for the department in Athens, Tenn., was terminated July 28 "as a result of several policy violations committed by Rhodes, including mishandling evidence and violating department ethics, according to Sheriff Joe Guy's statement issued Sunday night.

Rhodes had worked for the department for a year and "had previously been a competent and productive officer," Guy said.

"We were made aware of an issue with Rhodes about four weeks ago," Guy said. "It appeared there might be a criminal matter involved, so I notified the [10th Judicial] District Attorney's Office, who notified the TBI. Our internal investigation discovered the policy violations. Once those violations were confirmed, he was terminated.

The sheriff said his officers are held "at the highest level of conduct."

"There is no room in law enforcement for unethical behavior, even when it involves one of your own," Guy said. "We have a responsibility to the public not to tolerate wrongdoing."

Guy referred questions about the criminal investigation and possible charges to the TBI.

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