The Commercial Appeal by Lawrence Buser - July 1, 2009
A former Memphis police officer was sentenced to life plus 255 years in federal prison this morning for shaking down drug dealers for money, drugs and merchandise. Arthur Sease IV, 31, was convicted in February of directing or or participating in some 16 such robberies between November 2003 and April 2006. He is one of more than 40 law enforcement officers from six different agencies indicted on official corruption charges in the past five years and the only one to go to trial. According to testimony in trial, Sease committed the robberies to finance his dream of becoming a rap music producer. Witnesses included drug dealers and fellow officers. One dealer finally complained to police that Sease had robbed him of some $32,000 in cash. Sease was fired in January 2005, but continued the holdups by enlisting the help of department friends still in uniform.
MEMPHIS, TN – Authorities say a former Memphis police officer has been sentenced to life in prison, plus 255 years for stealing drugs and money. A federal jury has convicted former Memphis Police Officer Arthur Sease IV of stealing drugs, money and merchandise from drug dealers. A Department of Justice spokesperson says jurors heard testimony that Sease worked with Memphis drug dealers to arrange deals and would then rob the other dealers when they arrived. Authorities say in one case, he had a dealer resell stolen cocaine to another dealer. Sease later pulled over the buyer’s car, stole the drugs and sold them again, investigators said. The jury deliberated for the most part of three days in reviewing charges of money-laundering, extortion, robbery, conspiracy, rights violations, kidnapping, drug dealing and weapons charges against Sease. Sease, 31, went on trial on accusations of participating in or directing 16 robberies of drug dealers between November 2003 and April 2006.