- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A former Jackson police officer faces federal charges of stealing money from undercover agents that he had been told were drug dealers.

Bryan Jones, 44, was released Thursday after U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson set $10,000 unsecured bail. The Jackson police department fired him Wednesday, the same day he was arrested on charges of using his position as a police officer rob and extort money.

Gregory Weber, Jones’ lawyer, declined comment to reporters following the hearing. Jones, a Jackson officer since 2008 has not yet been indicted and did not enter a plea before Anderson. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

An affidavit filed by FBI agent Glenn Folsom said Jones was assigned to patrol the Washington Addition neighborhood southwest of Jackson State University and associated with drug dealers, calling himself “Red.”

Folsom said residents told the FBI that Jones was protecting drug dealers and tipping them off to police activity in exchange for money. But the affidavit also alleges that Jones was working against rival drug dealers, conducting illegal traffic stops using his patrol car while in uniform, stealing money and drugs. Folsom said Jones would keep the money and pass the drugs to his favored dealers. The FBI said reports of the illegal traffic stops, searches, seizures and “other nefarious practices” sparked its investigation. Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance, in a news conference following the hearing, said that residents had called the police department to complain about Jones and that the police department and federal agents worked together to investigate him.



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

In June 2014, Jones flashed his blue lights and stopped an undercover employee. Removing the driver from the car, he searched it with permission and found $5,500 in cash, but no drugs. Folsom said Jones “used his position as an officer to obtain permission” to take $4,000, putting the other $1,500 in the undercover agent’s back pocket. The charges state Folsom later met with the informant and gave him $1,500 from the take.

The FBI says the same informant set up a second sting in April, with Jones using “his position as a JPD officer and threats of criminal prosecution” to take $5,000 that he found in an undercover agent’s car, even though he found no drugs. Jones gave the informant $2,500 later, according to the agency.

The FBI said Jones didn’t put the money into evidence either time.

Vance said he didn’t know of anyone else involved with Jones.

“People will look at Bryan Jones and think he’s typical of the kind of police officer we have in Jackson,” Vance said. “I can’t scream it loud enough - that’s not true.”

Three former Jackson police officers pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2012 after taking money from undercover agents to protect fake drug transactions. Monyette Quintel Jefferson and Terence Dale Jenkins are serving 10-year sentences, while Anthony Ricardo Payne Jr. is serving a nine-year term.

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This story has been corrected to show Jones’ age is 44, not 41.

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

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