MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A former Memphis police officer has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for criminal rights violations, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Sam Blue, 63, pled guilty to conspiracy to violate civil rights by using force, violence, and intimidation and conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce on January 24, 2020.

Blue was sentenced to 144 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

WREG previously reported that Blue joined the force in 1995 and its crime response unit in 2004.

According to information presented in court, Blue conspired with others to rob drug dealers of drugs or drug proceeds. The co-conspirators would use information obtained by Blue from law enforcement-restricted sources to surveillance their targets before the robberies.

The Department of Justice said Blue also provided equipment such as an official MPD badge and a car dashboard blue light so his co-conspirators could appear to be law enforcement.

According to prosecutors, in July 2018, the defendants targeted Eric Cain as a robbery target and put a GPS tracker on his car. Blue provided the gate code to get into Cain’s apartment complex.

As Cain was leaving his apartment, a black car with flashing lights pulled up behind his car. Two of the defendants armed with guns and wearing masks and black clothing with the word “police” on them told him to get out of the car.

Investigators say they handcuffed Cain, put a hood over his face, and put him in the back of their car. Cain was then taken to a home on Reese Road where he was restrained, beaten, and burned on his arms, neck, and head before the suspects demanded money and/or drugs.

The victim eventually escaped through the front window of the house. He was later taken to the hospital for his burns and injuries.