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Former Nashville Cop Admits to Stealing More Than $100K While Searching for Drugs

A former Nashville police sergeant on Tuesday admitted to stealing more than $100,000 while he was searching area homes for drugs.

The narcotics investigator used some of the money to buy himself an SUV. As part of the plea deal he reached with federal prosecutors, former Sgt. James Dunaway will have to turn over the SUV and repay the $109,910 he stole on the job.

Police first launched an investigation into Dunaway last fall after another officer reported suspicions that Dunaway had pocketed cash while searching a house for drugs.

As part of the investigation, the department set up a sting and sent Dunaway to search a hotel room that had been loaded with $28,000 and drugs. Police said they recorded video of Dunaway taking $5,860. He resigned in November soon after being arrested.

More: Former Nashville cop stole more than $105K while searching for drugs, investigators say

A joint investigation by the FBI and police determined Dunaway had stolen money while executing at least four other search warrants from 2015-2017. He used some of the money to buy a 2014 Toyota Sequoia.

He was indicted on federal theft and money laundering charges in May.

Dunaway admitted the investigation's findings were true Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to theft from a federally funded program and money laundering.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in October.

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