Feb 02

WCSO Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy Applications Open until March 8

WCSO Now Taking Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy Applications until March 8

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is now taking application for the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy, with classes slated to begin March 8.

If you’ve ever considered a law enforcement career or just wanted to know how the WCSO operates on the road, inside the jail, what it’s like to be a dispatcher and any number of other skills required within the Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy is the place for you. The WCSO will be taking applications through March 8.

The upcoming Academy includes a 10-week course that meets from 6-9 p.m. every Tuesday at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office located at 105 E. High St., Lebanon, TN. All applicants must pass a background check in order attend.

There are no minimum physical requirements, just a desire to learn more about law enforcement and get exposure to day-to-day aspects of the many facets involved in enforcing the law and assisting fellow citizens.

“This class is designed to help foster a better understanding between the citizens and the Sheriff’s Office,” said Wilson County Sheriff’s Lt. James Lanier, who oversees the Academy along with a number of other veteran staffers at the Sheriff’s Office. “It familiarizes the citizens with how the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office operates in a hands-on situation. This course shows how different the Sheriff’s Office is from the other law enforcement offices in Wilson County and how much more responsibility the Office has compared to other agencies.”

Some of the classes include topics such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, domestic violence, patrol procedures, Schools Resource Officers, Civil and Criminal Warrants, DUI awareness, handcuffing procedures and other law enforcement functions. The course also includes hands-on activities, field trips such as a three-hour jail tour, a visit to the firing range, lectures by Communications dispatchers, a representative from the District Attorney’s Office, demonstrations in boating safety and the Office’s Special Response Team among other activities.

Leigh Mills, a past graduate of the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy and current Academy Alumni Association President, said of the program, “I was extremely impressed with the program and believe other Wilson County residents can benefit from seeing exactly what the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office encounters from day-to-day. The Sheriff and his staff have created an excellent, intensive course that helps all of us better understand how the department serves the community. Each week, participants are taken through a series of classes that provide a close-up view of law enforcement techniques and shown exactly how much responsibility the Sheriff’s Office has with regard to the jail, courts, and process service functions we might otherwise never see. Presenters offer an entertaining and interactive way to learn the role of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and how it relates to our community. I would encourage anyone who has not done so to apply for this course. From graduation, participants are also encouraged to help serve the community by joining the Alumni Association, where they will have a chance to volunteer and support the Sheriff’s Office.”

Sheriff Robert Bryan started the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy four years ago to offer the community and business people a voluntary opportunity to get a better understanding of and full exposure to the Sheriff’s Office. The upcoming fourth class is limited to 25 citizens. To apply, contact Elizabeth Anderson at wcso95.org or call at 615-444-1412, ext. 255 or email her at eanderson@wcso.org.







Jan 13

WCSO, TBI Solve 13-Year-Old Wilson County Cold Case

WCSO, TBI Solve 13-Year-Old Wilson Co. Cold Case with Indictment, Arrest of Kingsport Man

A Kingsport man has been indicted by a Wilson County Grand Jury and arrested in connection with the 2002 shooting death of a Wilson County man.

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office began working the case after a friend of James Hill found him dead in a field where he had been target shooting on East Saulsbury Road in Wilson County on Nov. 19, 2002. The 82-year-old victim, an outdoor enthusiast who collected rifles and loved to target shoot, had been shot to death it was later determined.

“This was a case several of us were determined to solve,” said Sheriff Robert Bryan, who worked on the case himself as a detective along with several others including Brian Harbaugh, who later became a TBI agent, and Detective Ricky Knight, who now serves as lieutenant over the Detective Division for Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. “Our detectives and TBI worked diligently even though it appeared we had come up empty-handed. With improved technology as it relates to evidence, we were able to connect this suspect (Lawton McNutt) to Mr. Hill’s murder. It is now in the hands of the judicial system, where we hope justice will prevail.”

TBI Director Mark Gwyn added, “Even though this crime took place more than 13 years ago, the combination of continued investigative measures and advancements in lab technology worked to help provide proof needed to solve a crime, and help offer answers for the victim’s friends and family.”

Witnesses had reported seeing a small dark-colored truck parked on the side of the road where the victim was target shooting in the field. Detectives tried for years along with TBI agents to determine who had killed Hill, working with evidence they found at the scene. Detectives received new information that led to a suspect in the case in November 2015. On Jan 12, 2016, McNutt was charged with one count criminal homicide/felony murder first degree. He is currently being held without bond in Hickman County until his court hearing. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2016.

McNutt has a lengthy criminal record. Some of the charges include the following:

*In May of 2002, he faced multiple theft charges in Georgia.

*In March 2003, McNutt was charged with attempted murder, aggravated burglary, theft of property and several other burglaries. He was sentenced to 14 years and was released from prison in 2013.

*In September, 2015, the 21st Judicial Task Force arrested him in Hickman County, where he is currently incarcerated for theft over $10,000 and possession of a weapon. He is being held under $25,000 bond. James HillIMG_1416These charges were unrelated to the Hill case.

Dec 28

WCSO Offers Free, Safe Rides on New Year’s Eve

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Offers Free, Safe Rides on New Year’s Eve Holiday

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan announced today the Sheriff’s Office will sponsor its annual Free New Year’s Eve Safe Ridge program beginning at 8 p.m. until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, to help save lives at no cost to the county.

Call 444-1412 and ask for a safe ride to obtain a free ride home from any part of Wilson County.

“This does not include a ride to another party or any stops on the way home,” Sheriff Bryan added. “We just want to make sure all our citizens are safe on the roads.”

WCSO Maj. Lance Howell, who took over the program this year, pointed out that the Sheriff’s Office is providing this service through its Wilson County Reserve Officers (all volunteering their time). Maj. Gary Keith began the Safe Ride program several years ago. Since that time, the sheriff’s office has seen a decline in accidents with injuries, deaths and arrests associated with drinking and driving.

“We encourage you to use this service,” Howell said. “It doesn’t matter how many people there are in your party. If you need more than one vehicle, we will take care of that at no cost.”

Wilson County Sheriff’s Officers and volunteers have already begun posting information throughout the county to ensure people know the service is available.

“We encourage everyone in Wilson County to have a good time ringing in the New Year, but we just want to make sure everyone out there does so in a safe manner,” Sheriff Bryan said. “This is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to drinking and driving. It is not safe for you or anyone on the streets if you decide to drive after drinking alcohol, even a small amount. All it takes is a single phone call to get a free ride home. Please take advantage of it.”

Scanned from a Xerox multifunction deviceThe Sheriff’s Office thanks Lee & Lee Attorneys, who are providing food for the officers volunteering their time, for their service to the community.

Dec 23

More Charges from November WCSO Drug, Weapons Seizure

More Charges from November WCSO Drug, Weapons Seizure

 A suspect arrested last month for his involvement in an illegal drug trafficking case that included several other individuals in at least three counties has been indicted by the Wilson County Grand Jury for felony possession of Schedule VI drugs with intent to sell, criminal conspiracy and money laundering. On December 21, David Alan (aka Bubba) Hankins, 39, was arrested at his home in Lebanon without incident and is currently being held on a $50,000 bond at the Wilson County Correctional Facility.

His latest arrest and resulting charges came on the heels of a traffic stop on November 18 when he was arrested for driving on a revoked license. White conducting a search of the vehicle Hankins was driving, detectives seized 48 pounds of marijuana and a large quantity of cash. The November arrest occurred in connection with several search warrants executed between February and November in Wilson, DeKalb and Davidson Counties. During that time, WCSO Narcotics Detectives arrested five people in an investigation that netted more than $300,000 in cash, 100 pounds of marijuana, large amounts of cocaine, pharmaceuticals, weapons, vehicles, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles. All are believed to be linked to an organized group of drug dealers in the ongoing investigation.

Sheriff Robert Bryan credited the arrests and confiscation of illegal drugs and other property to WCSO Narcotics Unit’s unyielding perseverance in the joint investigation with Metro Nashville Police Drug and Gang Units and the 15th Judicial Drug Task Force. “We are very proud of everyone involved in this case and resulting arrests,” Sheriff Bryan said. “And we are grateful as always to the concerned citizens whose help in these cases is priceless. It takes the entire community working together to help stop this dangerous and illegal activity.”

The ongoing operation came to head on February 27 while detectives were investigating the illegal distribution of large quantities of marijuana in Lebanon. During a raid at 5130 Linwood Rd in Lebanon, detectives recovered more than two pounds of marijuana and over $10,000 in cash and weapons. As a result, the Wilson County Grand Jury indicted Jeffrey Waylon Craddock, who was living at the residence for charges of violation of his parole and additional charges. Craddock has been and currently is incarcerated at the Wilson County Correctional facility in Lebanon.

While incarcerated at the facility, Craddock continued to actively participate in the distribution of marijuana in Wilson County. Upon further investigation, detectives discovered more evidence connected to Craddock’s arrest. It was determined the arrest was connected with several search warrants served in July 2015 in Wilson and Smith County. One search warrant executed at 4251 South Commerce Rd. in Watertown netted over 30 pounds of marijuana, and more than $20,000.00 in cash and weapons. Gary Neil VonStorch, Jr., who was living at the residence, was arrested on charges stemming from the search and indicted by a Wilson County Grand Jury.

Another search warrant conducted in July 2015 at 320 B Trousdale Ferry Pike Lebanon, uncovered over $1,500.00 cash along with two pounds of marijuana and cocaine. Michael Mondrell Grooms, a resident of the address, was indicted by the Wilson County Grand Jury and arrested on numerous charges as a result.

In a joint effort with the 15th Judicial Drug Task Force, WCSO Narcotics detectives executed a search warrant at 22 McGinnis Lane Brush Creek, where they uncovered more than five pounds of marijuana and over $20,000 in cash. Jason Lee Copeland was indicted by the Wilson County Grand Jury and arrested on charges related to the search of his home.

Narcotics Detectives continued to develop leads and information pertaining to illegal drug trafficking operation. On Nov. 18, 2015, detectives conducted a traffic stop on Sparta Pike at Spring Creek Bridge in Lebanon and arrested Hankins for driving on a revoked Tennessee driver’s license. Upon searching the vehicle Hankins was driving, they recovered more than 48 pounds of marijuana and over $700 in cash. Based on information received through various sources, detectives believe David Hankins had taken over the distribution of marijuana while Jeffrey Craddock was incarcerated.

Upon further investigation after Hankins’ arrest, WCSO Narcotics detectives through a joint effort with Nashville Metro Vice and gang unit developed enough information to conduct a search warrant at 1441 Pleasant Hill Rd, Nashville. Narcotics Detectives believed based on confidential information that this was the location of the supplier of marijuana that was being distributed by the organization. They recovered over $200,000 in cash and weapons during the Nashville address search. Metro Nashville and WCSO Narcotics detectives continue their investigation into the residence along with its occupants. Other searches included 7497 Trousdale Ferry Pike in Lebanon and 36052 Old Nashville Highway in Alexandria, where an undisclosed amount of cash and pharmaceuticals were uncovered. The investigation is continuing in that matter.

Arrests and charges so far include Craddock on charges of possession marijuana, conspiracy to possess marijuana, two counts of money laundering and two counts possession of firearms during the commission of a felony; VonStorch Jr. on charges of possession of marijuana, two counts of conspiracy to possess marijuana, one count money laundering, and two counts of possession of firearms during the commission of a felony; and Copeland and Grooms on drug and money laundering charges.InmatePhoto


Dec 15

WCSO, CASA help with Christmas for All Toy Drive

WCSO and Wilson County CASA helped collect toys for Christmas For All organization, which will donate to needy children in Wilson County. Each year, Christmas For All distributes thousands of toys to needy families using all donated gifts and volunteers. Pictured from left are Cathey Sweeney with Wilson County CASA; Juli Kelley, Wilson County Christmas for ALL; WCSO Sheriff Robert Bryan and Lt. Steve Gatlin.IMG_0845

Dec 03

WCSO to Hold Benefit Auction 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will hold a Benefit Auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Capitol Theatre to help former WCSO Sheriff’s Deputy Earl Dyer.

The 49-year-old former deputy court officer remains hospitalized in a nursing facility where he is undergoing physical therapy following a bilateral stroke as a result of a prior surgery. This stroke paralyzed the court officer’s arms and legs, rendering him unable to work. He has exhausted all county benefits and has limited government assistance to pay bills. In addition, his wife, Amy, is also unemployed due to physical limitations and is unable to care for him. They have no children.

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised from the auction will go to help former Deputy Dyer. Among the items to be auctioned are autographed memorabilia; electronics; an assortment of gift cards of varying denominations; handmade items; trips for two to various locales; lawn accessories; gift packages and many more goods and services.

“Deputy Dyer would love to be independent and would love to be able to help others as he has over the years in Wilson County,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Unfortunately, his prognosis remains guarded as to whether he will ever walk or regain full use of his arms. His future holds many hardships. Let us as a law enforcement family and community stand behind him at this time. I assure you, any assistance we can give will be only a fraction of the enormous service he has rendered the community over the years.”

“If you know Earl, he never meets a stranger,” said Sgt. Don Witherspoon, with whom he was first assigned after coming to work at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. “He’s always got a smile on his face, and talks to everyone. He’s always been so independent. This is a man who hates asking for anything, but he needs our help.”

The WCSO is planning more fundraisers in the near future.  Meanwhile, those who would like to help are encouraged to make donations through an account at CedarStone Bank on West Main in Lebanon, TN in the name of “Earl Dyer Fund.” Contributions may also be dropped at the Criminal Justice Center (located adjacent the sheriff’s office located at 105 E. High Street) or the Judicial Center, 134 S. College St. We will update everyone on the WCSO’s progress as we prepare for this long, arduous journey for the Dyers.

43-43 Earl Dyer Jr onOneYou may also make contributions to a separate GoFundMe account at this website: https://www.gofundme.com/earlamydyer




Dec 01

Wilson County Detectives Seek Info on Dollar General Robbery

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office detectives are seeking information on an armed robbery involving three masked individuals who robbed the Dollar Store at Highway 231 and Central Pike in Wilson County on Monday night and fired shots into the air as they fled.

Officers were called to the scene shortly after 9 p.m. when employees called, stating three masked people held one of the clerks at gunpoint, demanding money from the register. The male clerk told detectives he was in the office in the front of the store when three masked individuals came into the store and held him at gunpoint. Two of the robbers told the clerk to put the money in a grocery bag. The perpetrators held him at gunpoint until they were able to get out the door with the cash. They fired shots into the air on their way out of the store before leaving. A witness said he heard a total of four shots fired from a gun and saw a large, dark car driving away north on Highway 231.

Suspect1 Suspect2 (1) Suspect3Detectives are asking anyone who may have information on the incident or the individuals involved to please call the sheriff’s office at 615-444-1459.

Nov 30

Scam Artists Claiming to be with WCSO Threatening Jail For Phony Summons

Scam Artists Calling Wilson Residents, Threatening Jail for Phony Jury Duty Summons

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan is warning Wilson County residents not to fall for a scam in which someone calls alleging to be the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Warrants Division, demanding money for failing to appear for jury duty or some other crime.

The perpetrators have been calling residents and telling them they must pay for not appearing for jury duty in some cases. In others, they claim the victim has failed to accept a certified letter instructing them to appear in court and will be arrested immediately if they do not pay a fine.

“One woman paid more than $1,000,” Sheriff Bryan said, adding, “No one from the Sheriff’s office nor the Wilson County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office would ever call and threaten someone with arrest if they did not pay a fine. We do not do business over the telephone in this manner.”

Several people in Wilson County have complained that someone left threatening messages advising them to pay cash or credit voucher for failing to appear for jury duty. The callers generally have used the ruse that the victim was sent a registered letter and never signed for it and must pay a fine. In other cases, the scam artist threatens people via phone call to have them arrested immediately if they do not pay. In some cases, the victims were warned a hang-up call would signify a refusal to accept the registered letter and would result in the victim’s immediate arrest.

The scam artists have instructed their intended victims to go to a local market and purchase money orders or “Green Dot Money Pac Cards” in order to settle the complaint. This same scam has surfaced in a number of ways across the country, Tennessee and Wilson County in the past. The sheriff advises anyone who receives such a threat to hang up immediately and call local law enforcement.


Nov 25

Lebanon-based PerMobil Donates Wheelchair to Paralyzed WCSO Deputy


A former Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy Court Officer, paralyzed after a stroke, says he is “so thankful” to Lebanon-based manufacturer, PerMobile, for its donation of a state-of-art wheelchair.

Earl Dyer, the former WCSO Court Officer, is undergoing physical therapy at the NHC nursing home in Smithville for the time being and hoping he will get better. He became paralyzed after suffering a stroke post op on July 16th from a prior surgery. This stroke has left the 49-year-old man’s arms and legs essentially useless, rendering him unable to work.

“There’s no way to know for sure but his prognosis is that he most likely will never be able to walk or regain use of any of his limbs,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “He faces many hurdles ahead in his life following this horrible, debilitating, uncertain situation. He has always been an active officer and helped others. He needs our help now.”

Tragically, Deputy Dyer’s wife, Amy, is also disabled and unable to care for her husband. They have no children or relatives able to help them. Earlier this month, the once-active court officer exhausted all annual, sick time and all available sick bank time allowed by employment policy. His disability income for now is $1,200 each month and must pay $1,600 for insurance, leaving nothing for other vital expenses.

John Richards, regional vice president of sales for PerMobil, heard of the former officer’s condition and decided to see what he could do to “give back to our community.” Richards, whose firm manufactures medical mobility equipment throughout North America and other countries, arranged to have a customized wheelchair made up and donated. The chair allows the former deputy to be mobile again and even allows him to stand up with a flip of a control on the chair, now decked out with blue lights and WCSO emblems. Dyer said of the chair PerMobil presented him Thursday, “This is like a dream come true. I cannot tell you how thankful I am. This is awesome.”

Dyer remains optimistic he will one day be able to regain use of his arms and legs and go back to work. “I have faith I am going to get up and walk one of these days. I am going to be able to walk and used both of my arms, and be as health as I was once before.”

Deputy Dyer now needs a special wheelchair van along with other needs. The Sheriff’s Office is holding a variety of fundraiser to help raise money for the disabled former employee. The next event will include a Live Auction scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Capitol Theatre.  Meanwhile, those who would like to help are encouraged to make donations through an account at CedarStone Bank on West Main in Lebanon, TN in the name of “Earl Dyer Fund.” Contributions may also be dropped at the Criminal FullSizeRender IMG_0783 Justice Center (located adjacent the sheriff’s office located at 105 E. High Street) or the Judicial Center, 134 S. College St. WCSO will update everyone on the WCSO’s progress as we prepare for this long, arduous journey for the Dyers Sheriff Bryan noted.

You may also make contributions to a separate GoFundMe account at this website: https://www.gofundme.com/earlamydyer