Sep 02

WCSO Hosting Drug Take Back Day Sept. 26 at Sheriff’s Office

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a Drug Take Back Saturday, Sept. 26, for anyone wanting to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs. No questions will be asked. The event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WCSO Office at 105 East High Street in Lebanon is in conjunction with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) National Take Back Initiative.

“It’s important to properly dispose of any prescription drugs you are not longer taking or are expired,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “The medicine cabinet is many times the first place young people look to begin experimenting with drugs. Unfortunately, many of us know all too well this can lead to addiction and overdoses, often involving our loved ones.”

The Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner noted in a recent report that drug overdoses in the state surpassed the number of people killed by motor vehicle accidents and even firearms discharges and blood pressure and kidney diseases in 2014. The number of drug overdoses has been escalating statewide for several years.

In Wilson County, there were a total of 1,061 deaths in 2014 with drug overdoses (26) topping that caused by all deaths involving the discharge of firearms (17) and motor vehicle accidents, totaling 14.

Sheriff Bryan encouraged people to begin now looking through their medications for any they are no longer taking or are expired in preparation for the Drug Take Back Day. “It’s important to keep track of what kind of medications you have and how many tablets, pills, etc. you have used,” the sheriff said. “Just as you keep dangerous products out of reach of children, you may even consider keeping your medications in a locked cabinet. This is especially true if you have young people in the house who you may have never even suspected might try a medication you’re taking.”

Medications you use for legitimate reasons are often subject to theft, and can lead to addition and ultimately even drug trafficking. Sheriff Bryan noted that there is a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is often the motive in numerous crimes. “We’ve seen pharmacy robberies and even murders increasing at an alarming rate because of drug addiction across this state and the entire country,” he noted, “and it often begins with a young person taking a few pills from someone’s medicine cabinet.”

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back events provide an obviously needed and valued service to the public, while also reducing prescription drug abuse and trafficking, the sheriff said. “By taking these medications with no questions asked, the DEA is helping make Wilson County a safer place. We appreciate cooperative agency efforts such as this one to enable the public to regularly, safely, and conveniently dispose of such medicines when they are no longer needed or wanted.”

Aug 05

Wilson County SO Currently Accepting Applications for Upcoming Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy

 

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Taking Applications for 5th Citizens’ Academy

 The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is currently taking applications for its 5th Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy. If you’ve ever wondered what the Sheriff’s Office does and how its employees perform their responsibilities, this is an opportunity to learn about it firsthand. The WCSO will be taking applications through Sept. 8, 2015 if you are interested in getting into a hands-on class.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 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 to 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. The class is designed not only for those who are considering a career in law enforcement but for anyone who wants to know through personal experience how the Office and its personnel function.

“This class helps citizens better understand what the Sheriff’s Office does, why and how its staff operate the Office for maximum efficiency and to assist our fellow citizens,” said Wilson County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Lanier. “It helps foster a better understanding, and hopefully, a more positive outlook with how the Sheriff’s Office performs its responsibilities. This course will show citizens how different the Sheriff’s Office is from the other law enforcement offices in Wilson County and how much more responsibility the Office has. For instance, the Sheriff’s Office operates the jail whereas other law enforcement agencies in Wilson County do not have that function.”

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.

“Wilson County citizens can benefit greatly from this program, said Sam Shallenberger, a past graduate of the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy and currently President of the Academy Alumni Association. “The Sheriff, his deputies and his staff have built a curriculum that helps each of us understand how the department serves the community through the enforcement activity we all see, in addition to the tremendous responsibilities of the jail, courts, and process service functions we might otherwise never see. Each week has been crafted to present functions of the department in a way that is informative and entertaining.  Participants learn the role of each law enforcement entity in the county, and are exposed to several opportunities to volunteer and support those entities. By joining the Alumni Association after graduation, interested participants can choose to help the Sheriff host future classes which will educate more community members.”

Sheriff Robert Bryan started the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy three 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 fifth class is limited to 25 citizens. To apply, contact Elizabeth Anderson at wcso95.org or call at 615-444-1412, ext. 255.

Jul 27

Wilson County Sheriff’s Detectives Arrest Two, Recover Stolen Goods

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested two people and recovered some stolen property following an intense investigation into a string of burglaries in Southwestern Wilson County.

The Sheriff’s Office received several vehicle burglary reports on July 20 in the Chadwick Court and South Lakeview Drive areas. Among the items reported stolen were handguns and two stainless steel, high-performance boat propellers (valued at $5,500 each).

During the course of their investigation, detectives received a tip that a possible suspect was in Nashville trying to sell two boat propellers matching the ones stolen in Wilson County. The detectives contacted the suspect, arranged a meeting posing as potential buyers in Lebanon. The propellers were identified as the same taken from Chadwick Court four days earlier.

Detectives arrested two people. They are Ladon Roscoe Robertson, 29 years old, and Courtney Lynn Kerstetter, 20 years old. Each was charged with a count of theft over $10,000. They have a court date set for Sept. 8.

“We take all crime in Wilson County seriously,” Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “These detectives did a fine job following through with this investigation and recovering this property.”

Kerstetter, Courtney Lynn Robertson, Ladon RoscoeMeanwhile, the investigation continues. Anyone with additional information is urged to call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

Jul 08

WCSO to Sponsor July 25 County Music Fest, Fish Fry

WCSO to Sponsor Country Music Festival, Fish Fry to Support Vets Memorial Museum

 

Everyone is invited to help support our veterans during the upcoming Country Music Festival and Fish Fry to be held 2-6 p.m. Saturday, July 25th at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go to benefit the Wilson County Veterans Memorial and Museum.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring the event, which will feature the “Gold Rush” Band and a number of special guests. Tickets for the benefit are $10 for the food and concert. Children accompanied by adults eat free.

There will be a Johnny Cash Tribute and an Elvis Tribute as well as special music and performances by Don Willis, a long-time musician who travelled with numerous talented performers nationally. Willis is also employed with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, the County Music Festival will feature local artists Karen Wheeler, John Crabtree, Brenda Allen and other country music entertainers whom many will recognize.

“We hope to see everyone support our veterans even if they cannot attend the concert and fish fry,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Our soldiers have given so much for us, we feel helping build a place where people can learn about the sacrifices our veterans of past and present have made for us is the least we can do. By contributing to this event, you will help people learn for years to come about what our veterans have given and continue to give every day for America.”

The Country Music Festival and Fish Fry is one of a number of events scheduled to help fund the Wilson County Veterans Park and Museum. Phase One of the project was erected near the Wilson County Courthouse last year, which includes an eternal flame, POW-MIA monument, star-shaped fountain, monuments for all branches of the military and several flagpoles. Phases Two and Three of the project will include offices and a museum featuring a number of artifacts from various past and present wars.

Anyone who would like more information should call the Wilson County Veterans Office at 615-444-2460.

Jul 06

WCSO to Sponsor Country Music Festival, Fish Fry to Support Vets Memorial Museum

WCSO to Sponsor Country Music Festival, Fish Fry to Support Vets Memorial Museum

 Everyone is invited to help support our veterans during the upcoming Country Music Festival and Fish Fry to be held 2-6 p.m. Saturday, July 25th at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go to benefit the Wilson County Veterans Memorial and Museum.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring the event, which will feature the “Gold Rush” Band and a number of special guests. Tickets for the benefit are $10 for the food and concert. Children accompanied by adults eat free.

There will be a Johnny Cash Tribute and an Elvis Tribute as well as special music and performances by Wilson County Sheriff Office Chaplain Don Wilson in addition to local artists Karen Wheeler, John Crabtree and Brenda Allen.

“We hope to see everyone support our veterans even if they cannot attend the concert and fish fry,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Our soldiers have given so much for us, we feel helping build a place where people can learn about the sacrifices our veterans of past and present have made for us is the least we can do. By contributing to this event, you will help people learn for years to come about what our veterans have given and continue to give every day for America.”

The Country Music Festival and Fish Fry is one of a number of events scheduled to help fund the Wilson County Veterans Park and Museum. Phase One of the project was erected near the Wilson County Courthouse last year, which includes an eternal flame, POW-MIA monument, star-shaped fountain, monuments for all branches of the military and several flagpoles. Phases Two and Three of the project will include offices and a museum featuring a number of artifacts from various past and present wars.

Anyone who would like more information should call the Wilson County Veterans Office at 615-444-2460.

 

Jul 06

WCSO Obtain Jail Drug Smuggling Indictments Against Eight

WCSO Obtain Jail Drug Smuggling Indictments against Eight

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested eight people in connection with indictments issued by the Wilson County Grand Jury for smuggling drugs into the jail. Others are expected at a later date.

Those arrested for allegedly bringing contraband into the jail include: Frances Eleanor Binkley, 35, of Lebanon; Jennifer A. Young, 31, of Watertown; Kimberly I. Vance, 37, of Lebanon; Edward Lee Judkins, 52, of Smithville; Derek Walthel Neal, 36, of Lebanon; Jill P. Gardner, 48, of Lebanon; Amy N. Stewart, 28, of Lebanon; and Kimberly Dawn Dobson, 35, of Lebanon.

“These indictment and arrests are the result of a well-trained, dedicated staff of correctional officers who are being diligent in their duties,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “I want to thank these officers and the investigators who spend countless hours trying to detect these illegal drugs and discover which offenders are trying to smuggle contraband into jail.”

The persons indicted included inmates who were trying to bring in everything from narcotic prescription pills to street drugs such as cocaine and marijuana to other substances banned in the Wilson County Corrections Facility, according to Jail Administrator Capt. David Bennett, who noted that correctional staff undergo extensive training each year to be alert to these kinds of illegal activity.

The sheriff explained that the persons indicted and arrested are ordered by the courts to do their time for their crimes and know in advance they are coming to jail to serve time. “These convicted criminals are doing everything they can to bring in illegal contraband and we are doing everything we can to stop it within the bounds of the state and federal constitutions.”

Sheriff Bryan added, “We will not tolerate this kind of illegal activity. We will continue in our efforts to detect those who are trying to smuggle contraband into our correctional system and intend prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 01

Child Rape Suspect Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison in Plea Agreement

Child Rape Suspect Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison in Plea Agreement

Stephen E. Beck, 44, has been sentenced to 36 years in prison to be served day-for-day following a plea agreement entered in Circuit Court today for two counts of child rape.

Beck, who was scheduled to go to court on August 5, was facing multiple counts involving allegations of child rape, sexual exploitation of a minor and numerous other sex charges in both Wilson and Rutherford County, appeared in court in Wilson County today for the agreement. Circuit Court Judge Wootten accepted the plea in exchange for a sentence of 36 years to be served day-for-day at the Department of Corrections, lifetime community supervision and listed on the Sex Offender Registry for life.

It took more than two years, thousands of leads and hundreds of work hours through 17 states before the collaborative manhunt led authorities to Wilmington, N.C., whether they found Beck living under a stolen identity while hiding out with a friend.

“We are very proud of the law enforcement who worked on this intensive joint investigation from investigation to apprehension,” said Sheriff Robert Bryan. “This was an excellent job of law enforcement coordination between our officers at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and that of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, TBI and U.S. Marshall’s Office.”

Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink presented the facts of the case in the hearing in Wilson County Circuit Court this morning. Beck, who was represented by Jack and J.D. Lowery, testified he understood If he were to file for post conviction relief following the plea agreement or try to revoke his plea agreement, he would face trial by jury. Beck opted to waive his trial before a jury. He will enter the plea agreement in Rutherford County as well.

“We in our office appreciate the tireless efforts of law enforcement in tracking down this defendant so that he could be brought to justice here today,” said ADA Swink. “We are also extremely grateful and appreciative of the two victims in this case and their family members, who have exercised both courage and patience through this long process. I believe that they feel a sense of justice with today’s outcome. “

Beck was indicted in August 2010 by a Wilson County grand jury and by a Rutherford County grand jury for the sex charges before he fled the state. He was later captured in North Carolina, where he had been living under an alias since June 2013. Authorities developed information he had also been living in the Johnson City area as well while avoiding capture.

Stephen BeckEarlier this year, the court postponed his court date for a mental evaluation. ADA Swink noted that an evaluation before the Middle Tennessee Department of Mental Health determined Beck was competent to stand trial.

Jun 15

WCSO Arrests Two Church Burglary Suspects

WCSO to Present Case after Detectives Arrest Two in String of Church Burglaries

 Wilson County Sheriff’s Office detectives along with Lebanon Police arrested two men Saturday night in connection with a string of church burglaries in the city and county. Sheriff Robert Bryan said his office will present more charges to the Wilson County Grand Jury at a later date.

Early Saturday, detective with both departments arrested Trevon Kyle Lawson, 26, of Lebanon, and Giles Jacob Timbs, 25, also of Lebanon. Both were charged with one count each of burglary with bond set at $7,500. They have a court date set for Aug. 4, 2015.

After reports of several church burglaries over the past few months, WCSO detectives developed a lead on the suspects in connection with several church burglaries in Wilson County and Lebanon. Detectives had been working surveillance for some time when they spotted the two men leaving the Hunters Point Celebration Center, 2232 Hunters Point Pike. After the suspects left, dectives checked the building and discovered a rear window had been removed. Wilson County and Lebanon Police detectives stopped the pair and discovered a cash register in the back seat later determined to have been taken from the Celebration Center. They were taken into custody without incident following the traffic stop at North College Street and East Main.

“This case is an excellent example of good, solid police work,” Sheriff Bryan said. “Our detectives developed a lead through various sources and lots of leg work. They worked this case around the clock, conducting surveillance of the suspects, and it paid off with these arrests.”BothSuspects

Lebanon Police charged the pair in the city, however, both agencies will present evidence of more church burglaries in which the two men are also suspected of burglarizing.

PBA Collects Donations Prior to June 13 PBA 5K Fundraiser

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TN PBA Raises Almost $2,000 as Wilson County Gears Up for Signature Fundraiser: Race 4 the Fallen 5K Glow Run/Walk 8 p.m. June 13

Runner, walkers and anyone else of any age who wants to participate in the June 13 Tennessee Police Benevolent Association’s (PBA) Second Annual Race 4 the Fallen 5K Glow Run/Walk are all being invited to help fallen officers and their families. The race, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 13, at Mt. Juliet High School, 1800 Curd Road, is expected to be the largest fundraiser yet.

The deadline to register online is Thursday although participants can register at the family-oriented fundraiser as late as 6 p.m. the day of the race. Early race packet pick-up is from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 12 at the Lowe’s parking lot, but racers can pick up their race gear and goodie bags just before the race on the 13. 

To register for the June 13 Race 4 the Fallen Glow Run/Walk, go to raceforthefallen.com. The Race 4 the Fallen 5K Glow Run/Walk was created to honor the dedicated members of law enforcement who risk their lives each day to protect everyone. It is the signature event to raise money for the PBA chapters across the country. On June 13, cities from across the country will be having their own Fall 5K Glow races. 

The event, which is organized by Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. James Lanier, drew more than 500 runners last year and raised over $9,000. “We hope this event is even larger and more successful than last year’s race,” said Sgt. Lanier, who is TN PBA Vice President and President of the PBA Andrew Jackson Chapter. “This is a tribute to those officers who have fallen in the line of duty. This is our way of honoring those officers and their families.”

This year, an estimated 54 officers were killed in the line of duty as of June 6 at midnight. Many more have suffered serious injuries. Each year, as many as 150 officers take their own lives. It is for those officers and families the PBA provides support. The PBA fundraiser kicked off Sunday with Wilson County Law Enforcement Day at the Mt. Juliet Worship Center where the congregation and guests contributed almost $2,000 in addition to providing lunch for law enforcement officers and their families from all across Wilson County. 

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Chaplin Don Willis, assistant pastor at the church, organized the tribute, putting together a video of all the officers killed in the line of duty this year as well as providing music and entertainment for officers and their families. Sheriff Robert Bryan addressed the crowd, noting how especially dangerous the profession has become over the years because of drug addiction and so many people with an increasing violent tendency toward law enforcement officers. Other speakers included Pastor Danny Sellars; FOP Chaplain Sam Weatherly, Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick; WCSO Sgt. Lanier, WCSO Lt. Scott Moore; Cpl. Emy Bates and others.

The PBA Foundation and Southern States Police Benevolent Association also rely on support from the community through private and corporate donations for a variety of services available for PBA members and their families. The funds go to provide aid to the families of fallen law enforcement officers, scholarships for youth, disaster relief to officers, and post traumatic stress and suicide prevention seminars to law enforcement professionals and their families. For more information about the Police Benevolent Foundation, visit www.pbfi.org.

 

May 27

WCSO Grants Two MJ Grads Citizenship Awards

 

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Selects Two Mt. Juliet Students for Citizenship Awards 

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office has named two Mt. Juliet High School graduates for its Second Annual Citizenship Award. The recipients, chosen from a field of 470 in the school’s 2015 graduating class, are Aaron Gunn and Rachel Fullerton.

Rachel, who is 17, plans to go to Austin Peay State University. She is a senior editor of the yearbook staff, a member of the national honor society and a member of the Best Buddies Organization (an organization dedicated to working with intellectual and developmentally disabled students.) In addition, Rachel is a member of the BETA Club, which promotes academic achievement, character, community service and leadership development. Rachel is a member of KET (Kappa Epsilon Tau), a community service-based organization. She is the daughter of Laura Fullerton, who said she was “thrilled” by her daughter’s selection, and Paul Fullerton, who added, “We are quite excited, very proud. We feel very blessed to have a daughter who is a beautiful girl, very outgoing and are especially proud she was selected from Mt. Juliet. It’s a great class.”

Aaron Gunn, 18, also plans to attend Austin Peay State University. He is a member of the track team, BNN (the Mt. Juliet news channel), Best Buddies Organization and a member of the student council. He received the prestigious Eagle Boy Scout Award earlier this year. He is the son of Paul and Susan Gunn.

“We were really happy,” said Gunn’s father. “He just received the Eagle Scout earlier this year. That took a lot of work. I think it was a combination of home, church and Scouts. We tried our best to raise him to be a good guy. We were really surprised about this award since we didn’t even know they had one. Given the nature of law enforcement, people who get into trouble seem to be the ones who get the press. It’s really good they care about the good ones too. I’m not sure who all is responsible, but we really appreciate the Sheriff’s Office for doing this. It’s a very kind gesture.”

WCSO School Resources Officer Matt McPeak said this is the second year for the WCSO to present Citizenship Awards to two students at Mt. Juliet High School. He said the selection is made based upon recommendations by teachers and guidance counselors as well as his own personal observance of those who go above and beyond the average student. He said he also relies on his fellow SRO Corporal Trey Tidwell’s advice and gets “a lot of help from” SRO Lt. Scott Moore and Sheriff Robert Bryan.

“We concentrate on those seniors who display outstanding characteristics in their schools and communities,” SRO MCPeak said. “Both have good grades and are excellent examples of the kind of people we should all strive to be.”

The WCSO is hoping to expand the Citizenship Awards to other high schools in Wilson County in the future.

Sheriff Bryan said of the award recipients, “It’s a pleasure for the Sheriff’s Office to recognize and honor young people who are obviously leading by example and making a positive difference in Mt. Juliet High School and Wilson County.”

Pictured L-R: SRO Matt McPeak, Mt. Juliet HS Graduate Arron Gunn and Rachel Fullerton, SRO Lt. Scott Moore

Pictured L-R: SRO Matt McPeak, Mt. Juliet HS Graduate Arron Gunn and Rachel Fullerton, SRO Lt. Scott Moore