A police officer in Jackson, Mississippi is being charged with extortion by use of his position.

44-Year-old Bryan Jones is accused of helping some suspected drug dealers and illegally stopping others by conducting illegal traffic stops, seizing cash, and failing to submit or report the cash taken to the Jackson Police Department.

United States Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Special Agent Donald Alway of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the charges in a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi on Thursday, September 24, 2015.

According to the written release, the charges stem from an affidavit that alleges that  "...Jones assisted drug dealers by conducting illegal traffic stops, searches, and seizures on competitors or rival drug dealers. On April 15, 2015, Jones illegally stopped a vehicle and seized $5,000 from someone he believed to be a drug dealer coming into Jackson to purchase drugs. The affidavit further states that Jones conducted an illegal stop on June 23, 2014 and seized cash from someone he believed to be a drug dealer. The cash taken by Jones on both occasions was never recorded or submitted to the Jackson Police Department; instead the cash was divided between Jones and another person."

Davis said that Jackson Police Department and Police Chief Lee Vance assisted in the investigation.

Jones, who is innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law, appeared in court to answer the charges before Judge Linda R. Anderson.  He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond to await a future court appearance.

If convicted he faces a maximum of twenty years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.



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