Newsbrief: Tennessee Drug Task Force Director Fired for Sampling Evidence Stash 9/13/02

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Tennessee's 10th Judicial Drug Task Force, centered in Cleveland, is looking for a new director this week. Kenneth Don Wilson, who headed the task force since 1999, was fired by the group's oversight board on September 4 after being arrested for cocaine possession earlier in the week. Wilson is free on a $2,000 bond after his arrest in McMinn County.

The arrest came after an unnamed informant told officials in the McMinn County District Attorney's office that drugs could be missing from the task force's Charleston evidence storage locker. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation officers went to Wilson's home to investigate and found cocaine after he gave them permission to search. McMinn County District Attorney Jerry Estes told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that he had informed state investigators that he had "learned that evidence might be missing from the drug task force's evidence lockup."

Task force overseers voted to replace Wilson with Bradley County Deputy Sheriff Jack Damuth. Although Damuth had been a Bradley County deputy for only two weeks, he had "considerable experience and had a 25-year career in the US military's Special Forces," according to one of the overseers.

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