From the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department –
On May 10th and 11th, 2022 the United States Marshals Service and the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division and Narcotics Division with support from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee 8th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office conducted a Sex Offender Compliance Operation. The purpose of this operation was to conduct compliance checks to confirm that registered sex offenders residing in Claiborne County are in compliance with the State of Tennessee sex offender registry laws.
This consisted of verification that no prohibited minors were residing in the home, that the offenders were in fact residing at their registered addresses, that the offenders places of employment were registered, all vehicles belonging to and operated by offenders were registered, all email and social media accounts (if permitted) belonging to the offenders were registered as well as many other compliancy issues.
At the conclusion of this operation a total of 14 individuals were charged with 6 being placed under arrest and arrest warrants being issued for the remaining 8. Some offenders received multiple charges with the charge totals for the operation being as follows:
25 sex offender registry violations, 2 charges for Felony Possession of Marijuana for Resale and 1 active warrant served for Failure to Appear. Sheriff Bob Brooks stated “This was an extremely successful operation that makes it safer for the citizens of Claiborne County. One of the main accomplishments of my administration has been establishing partnerships with State and Federal agencies like the United States Marshals Service, and this operation is a result of those partnerships.”
The Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office currently has two Detectives attached to the United States Marshals Service and they serve as sworn Special Deputy United States Marshals for the Eastern District of Tennessee United States Marshals Office Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force.
The offenders that have already been arrested are: Bobby Ryan Lawson- 2 counts of Violation of the Sex Offender Registry/ Joseph John Buska- 3 counts of Violation of the Sex Offender Registry/ William Coudell- I count Violation of the Sex Offender Registry and Felony Possession of Marijuana for Resale/ Birchel Bussell- 1 count of Violation of the Sex Offender Registry and Melvin Eugene Lee- Failure to Appear.
Also arrested was 44-year-old Daniel Allen Turner, A former Campbell County Tennessee football coach who plead guilty to attempted soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor on August 21, 2019. This was after being accused and indicted after it was reported that he attempted to lure a Pigeon Forge Middle School student into his office to show her nude photographs on his smartphone.
Turner was coaching basketball at the Pigeon Forge Middle School and football at Pigeon Forge High School at the time of the incident.
The Knox News Sentinel reported that Turner had been fired from LaFollette Elementary School in 2017 for sexually inappropriate behavior involving students and sexual harassment of female teachers, but Campbell County Schools then-director didn’t notify the Tennessee State Board of Education.
Investigations resulting from this current operation are ongoing and more arrest will come in the future.