Church appeared before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Nov. 14 seeking to officially remove Lt. Ron Shupe and Sgt. Ken Lane from the department. The board agreed Church could fire the two officers and proceed forward in replacing them. He also requested permission to alter the town’s policies for violations and repercussions as directed and advised by other state agencies, which the board approved unanimously.
Ron Shupe, 44, was a police lieutenant when he was arrested on federal charges Nov. 7 after buying drugs from someone he didn’t know was working for investigators. Shupe signed a plea agreement Nov. 13 admitting he possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute. Shupe told investigators he had purchased the drugs for Lane. Both men were indicted by a Johnson County grand jury on state charges related to drug possession and sales.
Lane, 61, was charged in state court with conspiracy to possess schedule II drugs (oxycodone) with intent to deliver in a school zone, solicitation to commit delivery of schedule II drugs (oxycodone) and simple possession of schedule II drugs (methamphetamine).
Shupe was indicted on state charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony; possession of schedule II drugs (oxycodone) with intent to deliver in a school zone, conspiracy to possess schedule II drugs (oxycodone) with intent to deliver in a school zone, solicitation to commit assault, accessory after the fact, release of confidential information, casual exchange of schedule VI drugs (marijuana), simple possession of schedule II drugs (methamphetamine), theft of property over $1,000 (marijuana) and three counts of official misconduct.
According to the presentment filed in Johnson County, the transactions involving a school zone were near Johnson County High School. One official misconduct charge against Shupe stemmed from his allegedly soliciting a man to badly beat someone up or to do it in the city and “I will take care of it” and the unidentified person “will learn the hard way.”
Another official misconduct charge alleged Shupe took marijuana from the Mountain City Police Department with the intent to distribute it to someone with whom he was involved in a drug conspiracy. The third official misconduct charge stemmed from Shupe allegedly disclosing information about a violation of probation warrant, which allowed the person to leave town undetected.
The release of confidential information involved Shupe allegedly telling someone in the public where another officer lived. Home addresses of police officers is confidential information protected by state law.