Feds charge former, current officers in E. Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Knoxville says a grand jury has indicted five current or former law enforcement officers on two extortion-related counts.

The indictment accuses the officers of conspiracy and attempt to commit extortion under color of official right. Those charged include Robert E. Cummings, a former University of Tennessee police officer; Jimmy W. Douglas and Samuel T. Hardy Jr., former Knox County sheriff’s deputies; Benito D. Lopez, a former TVA police officer and David L. Joyner, a detective with the Pigeon Forge Police Department.

A sixth officer, former Knox County Deputy Robbie Flood, pleaded guilty Wednesday in the same case to a charge of attempting extortion under color of official right.

Media report the charges stem from a gambling sting set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the accused have attorneys.