MNPD Sergeant who stole $109,910 during searches sentenced to prison, vehicle forfeiture, & restitution

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For MNPD Sergeant James Dunaway, 43, of Old Hickory, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 2, 2018, and charged with theft from an entity that receives federal program funds and money laundering.  He pleaded guilty to the charges on July 10, 2018, and was sentenced today, for stealing more than $100,000 during the execution of search warrants. He will serve two years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

James Dunaway is the husband of Frances Dunaway, a Metro teacher who was recently involved in the shaming of a transgender citizen online, for which the investigation is ongoing.

“When public servants that are sworn to uphold the law violate their oath, they must always be held accountable”
-Don Cochran, Middle Tennessee United States Attorney

James Dunaway (MNPD)

Dunaway was a supervisor in the MNPD’s Specialized Investigation Division Narcotics Unit and was responsible, among other things, for monitoring and executing search warrants.  During the execution of search warrants on five separate occasions, he stole a portion of the cash discovered and seized at each location, including:

  • 11/18/15: search of a residence off Pleasant Hill Road in Nashville, where more than $100,000 was seized;
  • 04/10/17: search of a residence off Robertson Road in Nashville, where more than $500,000 was seized;
  • 04/26/17: search of a residence off Pleasant Hill Road in Nashville, where more than $182,000 was seized;
  • 09/13/17: search of a residence off Spencer Enclave Way in Nashville, where more than $70,000 was seized;
  • 11/15/17: search of a hotel room in which the MNPD Office of Professional Accountability had placed marijuana, $28,000 cash and video cameras for the purpose of conducting an integrity check.  Video cameras captured Dunaway placing money in his pockets during the search and the indictment alleged that Dunaway stole $5,860 during the execution of this search warrant.

Between April 11, 2017 and May 8, 2017, Dunaway made approximately $40,540 in cash deposits and on May 1, 2017, he obtained a cashier’s check with $42,500 cash, which he stole during the searches. Dunaway then used the cashier’s check to purchase a 2014 Toyota Sequoia.

During the course of this scheme, Dunaway embezzled, stole and converted approximately $109,910 to his own use.

“James Dunaway betrayed the families of Nashville and the men and women of this police department”
-Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger ordered Dunaway to forfeit the 2014 Toyota Sequoia and to pay restitution in the amount of $80,969.

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