Former Nashville Metro police sergeant faces federal theft, money laundering charges

Staff Reports • May 4, 2018 at 3:34 PM

NASHVILLE – An indictment was unsealed Friday that charged former Metro Nashville police Sgt. James Dunaway with two counts of theft from federal program funds and two counts of money laundering.

Dunaway, 43, of Old Hickory, surrendered Friday morning to U.S. marshals after he was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday. He appeared before a U.S. magistrate on Friday afternoon.

According to the indictment, from Nov. 18, 2015 until Nov. 16, Dunaway was a supervisor in the MNPD specialized investigation division-narcotics unit and was responsible for, among other things, monitoring and executing search warrants.

The indictment alleged, during the execution of search warrants on five separate occasions, Dunaway stole a portion of the cash discovered and seized at each location, including:

• the Nov. 18, 2015 search of a home off Pleasant Hill Road in Nashville, where more than $100,000 was seized.

• the April 10, 2017 search of a home off Robertson Road in Nashville, where more than $182,000 was seized.

• the Sept. 13, 2017 search of a home off Spencer Enclave Way in Nashville, where more than $70,000 was seized.

• the Nov. 15, 2017 search of a hotel room in which the MNPD office of professional accountability had placed marijuana, $28,000 and video cameras for an integrity check. The video cameras captured Dunaway putting money in his pockets during the search and the indictment alleged Dunaway stole $5,860 during the search.

The indictment also alleged between April 11, 2017 and May 8, 2017, Dunaway made about $40,540 in cash deposits and he obtained a cashier’s check May 1, 2017 with $42,500, which he stole during the searches. Dunaway used the cashier’s check to buy a 2014 Toyota Sequoia.

The indictment further alleged, during the scheme, Dunaway embezzled, stole and converted about $105,910 to his own use.

If convicted, Dunaway faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

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