Policeman charged in gun case
Nine men indicted after covert inquest
By Shirley Downing
June 26, 2003
A Memphis police officer and eight other Mid-South men have been charged with federal gun law violations that include selling firearms to felons and falsifying sale documents.
Authorities recovered about 500 firearms during the Operation Risky Business investigation, U.S. Atty. Terry Harris said.
"This is 500 guns that will not wind up in the hands of criminals to use to rob or shoot or murder citizens of Memphis or anywhere else in the Western District of Tennessee,'' Harris said following a Wednesday press conference attended by city, county and federal authorities.
Investigators found weapons involved in criminal activities often had been bought from dealers at local gun shows, Harris said.
During the investigation, undercover agents bought guns at shows at the Mid-South Fairgrounds or the Agricenter, affidavits show.
Two of the accused, including the police officer, are federally licensed gun dealers.
Thomas Wayne Caldwell of Cordova, a six-year veteran of the Memphis Police Department, was named in a 15-count indictment charging him with making false entry of statements; unlawful sale of a firearm to a felon or someone under indictment and making false statements to a federal agency.
Caldwell, 41, operates Wayne's World of Weapons at 6850 Hillshire Drive in Bartlett. A phonebook ad says the business specializes in "Smith & Wesson knives, fantasy knives, swords & daggers, custom holster wear, air soft guns and SRKT." Caldwell could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
A nine-count indictment was returned against licensed gun dealer John Loveall of Camden on the same charges, as well as aiding and abetting. He operates Natchez Trace Gun Sales in Camden.
The remaining defendants each were charged with selling a gun to a felon or someone under indictment.
Charged with one count are Claude Crews of Memphis, Robert Stephen Payne of Coldwater, Miss., and Robert David Shelby of Bartlett.
Two-count indictments were returned against Roy Dexter of Memphis and Wayne P. Edmondson of Brentwood. Five-count indictments were returned against James Odis Manley of Brighton and Jerry Thompson of Union City.
The various charges carry 5- to 10-year prison sentences and $250,000 fines.
The investigation involved the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' Violent Crimes Task Force, Memphis police's Project Safe Neighborhood Gun Unit; the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and the Memphis-Shelby County Metro Gang Task Force.
- Shirley Downing: 529-2387
I specifically recall walking by WWW's table at one of the shows and noticing his pre-ban uppers on his post-ban lowers. Lord knows what other sort of shady stuff he was up to.
Damn I live right around the corner from WWW. I almost went there once but it was closed. Oh well.
Did you notice his guns were marked way down (like, regular priced) ? Looks like he might be getting out of the gun biz.