A former detective with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced on Friday to more than 18 years in prison for obstructing justice, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin’s office in Nashville.
U.S. District Court Judge William Haynes sentenced John Patrick Edwards, 39, of Mt. Juliet, after Edwards pleaded guilty in February for trying to sell information about a federal investigation of a drug trafficking organization conducted by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Federal authorities arrested Edwards last April, and in November he was indicted on multiple charges from grand juries in both Davidson and Wilson counties. After a sentencing hearing that lasted about three hours on Friday, Haynes imposed a sentence of 18 years, 4 months, describing the case as “highly unusual.”
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Haynes described three concerns he had when considering the sentence. They were: Edwards sought to compromise a highly confidential investigation, which involved federal wiretaps gained under seal; the investigation was a major drug investigation that involved Mexican sources bringing more than 200 kilograms of cocaine into Tennessee; and the personal safety of a confidential informant, an FBI agent and a DEA agent became threatened because Edwards tried to provide their names to the targets of the investigation, including members of a Mexican drug cartel.
Details of the case, which were revealed at the sentencing hearing and an earlier plea hearing, state that Edwards worked on a FBI and DEA investigation into a cocaine and marijuana conspiracy during 2010 and 2011.
Edwards not only knew the name of an informant, two lead agents and the placement of wiretaps on the phones of several targets, but he also tried to sell that information to the suspects for $100,000 and Range Rover, according to prosecutors.
The FBI was able to investigate and arrest Edwards before he was able to sell the information.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brent A. Hannafan and Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur prosecuted the case.