MPD Officer Left Gun For Drug Debt

(Memphis) A Memphis police officer has been indicted after being sought by the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agency.

James Erwin is the officer at the center of the investigation and is charged with being a prohibited individual in possession of a firearm because he was using cocaine at the time.

He also reportedly left his MPD gun as collateral for a drug debt.

According to the indictment, “Firearms and Explosives interviewed Erwin, who admitted to using a controlled substance for four months, including August 27, 2013, when he took his work-issued Sig Sauer pistol to a friend’s house. An individual advised Memphis Police Department officers that he has sold cocaine base to Erwin for several years, and that on August 27, 2013, that individual took several of Erwin’s personal items as security for Erwin’s crack cocaine debt.”

The ATF investigates crimes involving firearms and explosives.

His neighbors in East Memphis were shocked when they saw unmarked police cars surrounding his home.

“It just didn’t look normal. This whole block, the whole corner, was filled with police cars so it’s just weird that it was so many cars but like I said I figured he was a police officer so I thought it was normal,” said neighbor, Erica.

We went to Erwin’s home near Quince and Mt. Moriah for answers.

“I wanted to see if I could ask you a couple of questions about them taking James into custody? No, ma’am. Thank you,” said a woman from behind the door.

That woman didn’t identify herself but Tuesday Erwin was reported missing by his wife from that same address.

In an incident report, she told officers Erwin told her he was going to borrow his father’s lawn mower to do yard work.

She came home and the lawn wasn’t mowed and his uniform was still on the bed.

The report said Erwin was found unharmed the next morning but didn’t say where he was.

Neither Memphis police nor ATF has said if Erwin’s disappearance is related to the ATF’s investigation.

MPD, which drug tests its officers periodically, tells us Erwin became an officer with MPD in October 2009 and that he has been relieved of duty.

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