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Knoxville Police officer resigns after arrest on drug-related charges

Published: Apr. 20, 2016 at 3:37 PM EDT
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A Knoxville Police officer is one of eight people facing drug-related charges after a TBI investigation. A Knoxville Police spokesman said Joshua Hurst resigned from his position Wednesday after the announcement.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch contacted Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen and TBI Director Mark Gwyn on February 24. Rausch suspected one of his officers was involved in criminal activity.

During the past two months, TBI learned that Officer Hurst, a 13-year veteran of the force, was involved in the distribution of various drugs in a drug free school zone. That included Oxycodone and Oxymorphone. According to the Knox County district attorney general, at times Hurst even used his service weapon when committing the crimes.

Several other people were involved, according to investigators.

Former Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam declared Hurst officer of the month in May 2007. He received the award after a traffic stop led two three arrests on theft and weapons charges.

TBI agents believe most of these transactions happened within Knox County, but also expanded into east and middle Tennessee.

The news was not easy for Chief Rausch to deliver. He got choked up when saying Hurst betrayed the trust of the community and the badge.

"The information that we were getting in terms of the details of the case, it was sickening. And it's disheartening for the men and women who wear this badge," Rausch said.

The chief also maintains that this behavior is not indicative of the 390 other officers who work in the city.

"I can tell you, with the exception of this one, they all do it professionally, they all do it with integrity, they all do it with true dedication."

Those arrested include Hurst, who is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxycodone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone; conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxymorphone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone; official misconduct; possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony; possession with intent to deliver Oxymorphone in a Drug Free School Zone; possession with intent to deliver Oxymorphone; possession with intent to deliver Oxycodone in a Drug Free School Zone; possession with intent to deliver Oxycodone; delivery of Oxymorphone in a Drug Free School Zone; delivery of Oxycodone; and delivery of methamphetamine.

Milbern Breeden Jr., 50, Knoxville, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to delivery schedule II Oxycodone over 200g in a Drug Free School Zone; conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxymorphone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone; delivery of Oxycodone in a Drug Free Zone; sale of Oxycodone in a Drug Free Zone; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Erin Keennan, 41, Knoxville is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to delivery schedule II Oxycodone over 200g in a Drug Free School Zone; conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxymorphone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone; delivery of Oxycodone in a Drug Free Zone; sale of Oxycodone in a Drug Free Zone; possession with intent to sell Oxycodone; possession with intent to sell morphien; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Pamela Moretta, 43, Knoxville, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to delivery schedule II Oxycodone over 200g in a Drug Free School Zone; conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxymorphone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone; sale of Oxycodone in a Drug Free Zone; sale of Oxymorphone in a Drug Free Zone; sale of Oxymorphone and sale of Oxycodone.

Jacob Hurst, 35, Clarksville, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to delivery schedule II Oxycodone over 200g in a Drug Free School Zone and conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxymorphone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone.

Paul Gilbertson, 44, Knoxville, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to delivery schedule II Oxycodone over 200g in a Drug Free School Zone and conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver schedule II Oxymorphone over 200g in a Drug Free Zone.

Joshua Hurst, Breedan, Keenan, Moretta, Loy and Gilbertson were booked into the Knox County Jail, each on a $100,000 bond. Jacob Hurst was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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