In a six count indictment issued Monday, the U.S. Attorney alleges former state Sen. John Ford secretly took money to influence high-dollar deals in TennCare.more>>
The investigation of former Senator Ford is just the tip of the iceberg for FBI investigations in Tennessee. Agents have their hands in several other public corruption cases.
Operation Crooked Highway was one of the major public corruption cases investigated by the bureau this year. The others were Operation Tennessee Waltz, Operation Tarnished Blue, Operation Tarnished Shield, Operation Crooked Highway and Operation Main Street Sweeper.
Bryan Guess got caught up in Operation Crooked Highway.
"Sometimes I think this is just a dream. It's not really happening to me. Was it money? It was the money," Guess said.
Guess was arrested when he agreed to sell driving certificates out of his driving school in Rutherford County. The certificates ended up in the hands of undocumented workers. Guess said he never considered the documents could have end up in the hands of terrorists.
"Our number one priority is to prevent the next terrorist attack, followed by counter intelligence cyber crime, but within our criminal arena public corruption is the number one priority," said Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the FBI My Harrison.
The FBI's criminal arena included Putnam County and Operation Tarnished Shield, which involved police officers arrested on drug and money laundering charges.
The FBI moved from Operation Tarnished Shield to Operation Tarnished Blue in Memphis. Police officers were accused of crimes ranging from tipping off fellow officers about stings to stealing from undercover drug dealers.
Operation Tennessee Waltz involved the public mistrust of state lawmakers.
Lawmakers and lobbyists were charged with taking bribes in exchange for votes.
The FBI released an undercover video tape of former senator John Ford allegedly accepting $10,000 in bribes.
John Ford's bribery trial is scheduled to begin in February. Ford faces more federal charges.
Law enforcement officials said the combination of agencies working together makes these public corruption cases more efficient.
The FBI is able to take on more cases and uncover more corruption.