A Rutherford County deputy was charged for conspiring to distribute cocaine on Monday.
Authorities said agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted a courier who arrived at the Nashville International Airport with seven kilograms of cocaine in his luggage.
Federal agents and Metro drug detectives conducted an undercover operation to identify the individuals who planned to receive the illegal drugs.
An affidavit alleges that Luis Flores met with the cooperator and attempted to take delivery of the cocaine.
The 36-year-old was then taken into custody.
At the time of his arrest, authorities said Flores was carrying a personal weapon and his badge.
“The actions of a few corrupt law enforcement officers harm the reputation of the many dedicated men and women who wear the badge with honor,” said U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin. “We will always pursue those few who choose to dishonor their badge and will bring them to justice.”
Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold added, “Flores failed the citizens of Rutherford County and the dedicated employees of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and violated their trust.”
He continued, “We have a black eye and a bruised jaw. I am ashamed of his actions and I apologize to the citizens of Rutherford County. He has tarnished his badge and ruined the trust the citizens placed in him. His employment was immediately terminated and his badge has been destroyed and will never be worn again.”
In a news conference Tuesday morning, Arnold said Flores did not have anything in his personnel file and that he underwent a background check when he was hired in 2008.
If convicted, Flores faces a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.