COOKEVILLE – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the indictment of a former correction officer with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on charges of theft and official misconduct.
At the request of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, TBI Special Agents, working in conjunction with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, began investigating a report of missing cash from an inmate’s property at the jail on January 20th. At that time, William Warren Ashley was a correction officer with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Through the course of the investigation, Agents and Sheriff’s Office investigators developed information which led them to Ashley as the individual responsible for the theft of the cash on December 20, 2014. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has since terminated Ashley’s employment.
Today, the Cumberland County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging William Ashley, 32, with one count of Theft over $1000 and one count of Official Misconduct. Ashley turned himself in to be booked at the Cumberland County Justice Center. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond.
KNOXVILLE – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments in connection to the theft of several firearms from a Cocke County Sheriff’s Department patrol vehicle
On January 15th, and at the request of 4th District Attorney General James Dunn, TBI Agents began investigating the theft. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information, that on April 25, 2013, Brandy Nichole Allen, then the girlfriend of a Cocke County Sheriff’s deputy, took several firearms belonging to the Sheriff’s Department and her boyfriend from his patrol vehicle. The investigation further revealed the Cosby woman subsequently sold the firearms to Ricky Ray Ellison. Authorities later recovered the firearms when arresting the Newport man on unrelated charges.
On February 23rd, the Cocke County Grand Jury returned indictments for Allen, 29, and Ellison, 63, charging each with one count of Theft of Property over $1,000. Both were subsequently booked into the Cocke County Jail and released after posting $5,000 bond each.
MEMPHIS – Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have arrested a youth behavioral counselor accused of an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile in his care.
On February 27th, and at the request of 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, TBI Special Agents began investigating a report of alleged sexual assaults at Youth Villages in Bartlett. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that Deniro Smith, a Behavioral Youth Counselor at the facility, was involved in sexual activities with a juvenile resident at the facility. The investigation further revealed the alleged activity occurred on the Youth Villages campus and at Smith’s residence in Memphis on several occasions between April 2014 and October 2014. The child is no longer a resident at the facility, but remains in the care of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
This morning, TBI Agents arrested Smith without incident at his Memphis residence and charged the 25-year-old with one count of Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure, one count of Statutory Rape, and one count of Solicitation of a Minor. Smith was subsequently booked into the Shelby County Jail, where, at the time of this release, he was being held on an undetermined bond amount.
NASHVILLE – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged a Murfreesboro man in connection to the murder of his neighbor.
TBI Special Agents began investigating the death of Lois Jean Espy on Monday, February 23rd, the same date deputies from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department found the body of the 86-year-old woman on Mullins Mill Road. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information which led to her neighbor, William Russell Brace, as the individual responsible for Espy’s death in her Murfreesboro apartment on or around February 22nd, as well as the subsequent placement of her body in Bedford County.
This morning, Agents arrested and charged Brace with one count of First Degree Murder. At the time of this release, the 60-year-old Murfreesboro man was being held in the Rutherford County Jail without bond. The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Espy’s death continues, with the cooperation of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department and the Murfreesboro Police Department.
JACKSON – Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are asking for any information that may help solve a 2010 Hardin County murder case.
In a joint investigation with the Savannah Police Department, TBI Special Agents began investigating the death of Otylier Callens on September 8, 2010. The 80-year-old was found deceased in her home at 80 Ryan Street in Savannah.
On Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced a $10,000 reward from the state for information leading to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person or persons who committed, attempted to commit or conspired to commit the murder of Otylier Callens.
Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
KNOXVILLE – Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit led a multi-agency investigation that has resulted in the arrest of a former Fentress County medical doctor.
At the request of then-8th District Attorney General Paul Phillips and the Jamestown Police Department, TBI Special Agents, working in conjunction with the Jamestown Police Department, Fentress County Sheriff’s Office, Monterey Police Department, Tennessee Medical Board and TN Pharmacy Board, began investigating Vijaya Patibandla in August 2009. At that time, Patibandla was a medical doctor with a practice at 114 North Duncan Street in Jamestown. A large percentage of Patibandla’s patients were TennCare recipients. During the course of the investigation, Agents found that from November 2007 through December 2010, Patibandla was writing illegal prescriptions for controlled substances and was charging TennCare for patients’ visits to get those prescriptions. Patibandla subsequently closed his Fentress County practice and moved to New York, where he has an active medical license. He voluntarily surrendered his Tennessee medical license in 2012.
On December 11, 2014, a Fentress County Grand Jury returned indictments against Vijaya Patibandla, charging the 68-year-old with 40 counts of TennCare Fraud and two counts of Theft of Property. Today, Patibandla was arrested at his home in Valley Stream, New York, by a deputy with the U.S. Marshals Office and a detective with the Nassau County Police Department. At the time of this release, Patibandla was in the process of being booked at the Nassau County Correctional Center, where he will be held on a $150,000 bond pending extradition to Tennessee. The investigation continues with the assistance of current 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler. A booking photo of Patibandla is not yet available from New York authorities.
NASHVILLE – Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have obtained indictments for a Lawrenceburg nurse accused of mistreating an impaired adult in her care.
After receiving information from the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Adult Protective Services, TBI Agents began investigating Tracy Lee Thomas on April 3, 2014. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that Thomas, a licensed practical nurse for Buffalo River Services, failed to take a woman in her care for a physician-ordered X-ray. The investigation further revealed Thomas forged documents in an attempt to suggest the patient received the X-ray when she had not. The company initially discovered and reported the incident to authorities and subsequently terminated the nurse’s employment.
On December 19, 2014, the Lawrence County Grand Jury returned indictments for Thomas, charging the 34-year-old Lawrenceburg woman with two counts of Forgery and one count of Willful Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation. On Monday, a TBI Agent arrested her and booked her into the Lawrence County Jail, where she was later released after posting $30,000 bond.