- Associated Press - Friday, October 16, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - An FBI agent testified Friday that a former Jackson police officer admitted to stealing money from suspected drug dealers before he was charged.

But Bryan Jones’ lawyer argued in court Friday that the 44-year-old ex-officer was entrapped by the FBI.

Jones pleaded not guilty Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Ball on a five-count indictment issued Oct. 6. He faces up to 45 years in prison and up to $1.25 million in fines. Ball scheduled a Dec. 1 trial.

Prosecutors asked Ball to revoke Jones’ bail, saying that he committed a violent crime because he was wearing his police gun when he took the money. FBI Agent Ty Breedlove also said that Jones at one point made a comment to an informant and an undercover FBI agent along the lines of “Do I need to remind you how many people I’ve put in the grave?”

Under questioning by defense attorney Drew Martin, Breedlove testified Jones came voluntarily to the Jackson FBI office without a lawyer and in his uniform, then admitted to the thefts



Martin argued that Jones’ cooperation, along with him living in the area for a long time and lack of criminal history showed he posed no threat to flee or commit other crimes while out of jail.

The attorney also argued that the FBI led Jones into trouble.

“He was not a threat if he was entrapped into performing criminal acts that he otherwise never would have committed,” Martin said.

Breedlove said the FBI was investigating drug dealing when it opened a corruption case against Jones. The FBI has earlier said Jones was associating with drug dealers, protecting them and tipping them to police activity in exchange for money.

Jones was working against rival drug dealers, conducting illegal traffic stops in his patrol car while in uniform, stealing money and drugs, according to a sworn statement by agents. Jones would keep the money and pass the drugs to favored dealers, the FBI said.

Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance has said residents called the department to complain about Jones. Vance fired Jones Sept. 23, when he was first charged.

The FBI said it set up two stings against Jones, both times having a confidential informant tip the officer that someone was coming to Jackson to buy drugs.

In June 2014, investigators said Jones took $4,000 in cash, later giving the informant $1,500. In April, investigators said Jones took $5,000, giving the informant $2,500. Both times, Jones found no drugs.

Breedlove testified the FBI has video and audio recordings of the seizures.

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Follow Jeff Amy at: https://twitter.com/jeffamy

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