A federal judge has sentenced a former Dumas police officer to more than 11 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to his part in a large-scale drug conspiracy, according to Patrick C. Harris, the acting US attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Little Rock.
“Police officers take an oath to protect and serve their communities,” Harris said. “Edgerson’s significant sentence reflects his absolute violation of this oath, and his abuse of the trust placed in him by members of his community. This sentence also demonstrates that no one is above the law, and people who sell drugs will be prosecuted, regardless of their position in society.”
James Edgerson, 39, was a Dumas Police officer when he and five others conspired to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana. He also faced a number of drug distribution charges as well as charges relating to selling the drugs while carrying a police-issued firearm, according to a news release from Harris’ office.
Edgarson was indicted by a federal grand jury last October and pleaded guilty in February. On Wednesday, US District Judge Brian S. Miller sentenced Edgerson to 135 months in a federal prison, five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
Edgerson admitted to participating in the conspiracy from May 2015 through through September 2015.
While he was working as a police officer for the Dumas Police Department, James Edgerson bought and sold cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana along with Kendrick Lamar Edgerson, Gregory Lamont Charles, Steven Sherrod Miles, Eli Haynes III and Rodney Lariel Edgerson.
James Edgerson obtained multi-ounce quantities of methamphetamine from Haynes for resale and redistribution to other individuals. For example, on August 25, 2015, James Edgerson called Haynes to arrange the purchase of methamphetamine. James Edgerson then traveled to meet Haynes in the Arlington, Texas, area, and purchased approximately nine ounces of methamphetamine. James Edgerson also purchased pound quantities of marijuana from Rodney Edgerson.
James Edgerson also sold drugs numerous times, including times while in uniform. As one example of multiple transactions, James Edgerson sold an informant nine ounces of cocaine for $11,300 on August 31, 2015, telling the source that he makes $50 on each ounce. On June 16, 2015, he completed a deal while in uniform and standing next to his police cruiser.
“James Edgerson betrayed the trust we place in police officers and the sentencing today is an indication of his total disregard for the citizens and law enforcement in our communities,” Upchurch said. “I commend the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District and the Arkansas State Police for their efforts, and the great work of our FBI team.”
Charles, Miles, Haynes, and Rodney Edgerson have all previously pleaded guilty. Kendrick Edgerson has trial pending on September 11, 2017.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI and Arkansas State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Julie Peters and Edward Walker. All defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty.