Metro officials investigate allegations of extortion, fire hall prostitution

Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 6:07pm
Staff reports

The Nashville Fire Department is undertaking an administrative investigation after Metro Nashville Police Department detectives interviewed a woman who claims to have been drugged at a firefighter’s home.

According to a police department press release, a 23-year-old woman also told police she and two friends had been to a fire hall on at least one occasion to strip for money. There were also allegations of at least one woman performing sex acts for money.

Police interviewed Jason Copeland, one of the firemen accused in the incident, on Tuesday when he reportedly told detectives he was being extorted by Ray Dontrell, a suspected gang member. Dontrell allegedly told Copeland there would be “blood” if he didn’t leave $500 outside a Pizza Hut.

Police set up a sting operation by placing $500 in a car. Police arrested Dontrell and Cortez Smith when they allegedly showed up to retrieve the money.

According to a police press release, the 23-year-old's statements have been inconsistent and there was no finding of sexual activity occurring at Copeland's home.

Two firefighters, including Copeland, were interviewed about the incident but they declined to comment about any activity occurring at a fire hall. A third firefighter who reportedly had knowledge of the alleged activity was said to be on vacation and hasn’t been interviewed by police.

The statement released by police stated, “After discussion with the District Attorney’s Office, the firefighters are not being charged with any prostitution offenses, in that, unlike a sting operation, any such activity would constitute a misdemeanor outside a police officer’s presence.”

6 Comments on this post:

By: G.Scout on 8/31/12 at 8:12

This is a completely different version of the story than was reported on Channel 4 News yesterday. Channel 4 made it sound like the firefighters have been suspended and are guilty. There was no mention of the extortion by gang members. What gives?

By: standingonthetop on 9/4/12 at 1:46

This kind of stuff has been going on in the halls forever! The FD brass is acting like this in news to them? That's hilarious!

What about the old days at 9's and 21's? That was whore central! A typical day at the hall went like this...get on the "beer board"...eat supper...partake of the "beer board"...play cards...entertain whores!

Now THOSE were the days! And yes...this kinda stuff STILL goes on...and the brass knows it! Welcome to the MFD folks!

By: whitegravy on 9/6/12 at 3:17

Hey firefighters frequently risk there lives for the tapayer. Let them entertain themseves as long as its NOT ON THE TAPAYERS DIME.

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