Former Knoxville police officer Joshua Hurst's involvement in an alleged drug ring included buying and selling painkillers at the department’s headquarters just weeks before a grand jury indicted him and seven others on drug and conspiracy charges, according to court records and a partial transcript of texts and recordings taken from a wiretap on his telephone.
Hurst, who was twice recognized by the department for good work, resigned April 20 after 13 years as a patrolman.
A grand jury the previous day charged him with three counts of conspiracy to deliver Oxycodone in a drug-free zone; three counts conspiracy to distribute Oxymorphone in a drug-free zone; delivery of methamphetamine; four counts of official misconduct and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony.
Others facing various drug and conspiracy charges: Milbern Breeden Jr., 50, of Knoxville; Erin Keenan, 41, of Knoxville; Pamela Moretta, 43, of Knoxville; Trevor Loy, 37, of Wartburg; Jacob Hurst, 35, of Clarksville; and Mark Gilbertson, 46, of Knoxville; Paul Gilbertson, 44, of Knoxville.
On Monday, the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office filed 40 pages of transcripts in response to Mark Gilbertson’s attempt to reduce his $100,000 bond.
The transcripts, according to the DA’s Office, show that “Gilbertson was a source of supply of the prescription pain pills oxycodone and oxymorphone.”
Prosecutors noted that on April 6, Hurst got oxycodone from Gilbertson and then “delivered to other co-conspirators.”
On April 10, Hurt obtained oxymorphone pills from him and then sold them to others.
The following day, Hurst then got more oxycodone from Gilbertson, according to court records.
“During the period of time when the wiretap was being monitored, thousands of incriminating statements (were) made by members of the conspiracy outlining the course, nature and extent of this drug-dealing enterprise,” prosecutor Sean McDermott said in a statement filed Monday with Knox County Criminal Court.
The TBI began investigating the alleged ring in February after KPD Chief David Rausch asked for Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen's help as well as the agency's assistance. Rausch thought one of his officers "might be involved in criminal activity," according to the TBI.
Most of the transcripts filed on Monday were made between Hurst and his brother, Jacob, as well as the two Gilbertson brothers and Trevor Loy.
During the conversations, the men talk about meeting “with the intent to further distribute those drugs at various locations in Knox County, including the Knoxville Police Department headquarters,” according to court records.
Here are some excerpts:
1:42 p.m., Trevor Loy: Fun, fun . . . Steven just called me, cause he got Josh’s money and went to Oak Ridge to get things, but when he got there dude was sold out . . . oh well.
6:21 p.m., Hurst: Yeah, you’d get uh . . . you get stuff worked out or not?
Gilbertson: Yeah, I got a couple of . . . I got a few of each on me.
Hurst: Alright. Well, I’ll call you when I get into town there and I’ll see where you’re at, and I’ll come . . . I’ll come holler at ya.
6:33 p.m., Loy: What do you think you can do? You talking about like a couple of the 20s and a coupel of the 15w or something?
Hurst: Or yeah, or you know . . . all of . . . you know . . . I mean I got . . . two 20s for you but I can probably get . . . I mean . . . he said I could get whatever I wanted.
12:08 p.m., Hurst “Like maybe like uh like two . . . it was like $220 that would pay for two thirty. That would pay for what I owe him plus one of them and then that could pay the rest of it tomorrow I think. Sounds like two days worth so . . . that and that was most of that was you know my stupidity because uh (laughed) uh you see I was trying to help Trevor out that day cause he was freaking out cause didn’t have anything in his system to go to the doctor on Thursday. I asked for three or four so if he fronts me four that’s leaving me owing him $200 tomorrow and I’m not 100 percent I have that much.
12:57 p.m., Hurst: You should have seen these two (expletive) crackhead looking (expletive) that was in the car with Mark a minute ago, my God.
3:38 p.m., Gilbertson: Guy’s got twenties of the moons. The G twenties.
Hurst: Yeah those Roxys are fine.
Gilbertson: You’d rather have 15’s?
Hurst: Yeah, yeah Roxy 15’s right?
Hurst: yeah, no that’s fine.