A Jacksonville police dispatcher was charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances Friday after he allegedly set up drug deals while on the job.
Jacksonville Police Chief Marcus Wood said Kurt David Turner, 49, of Fruithurst, used the department’s telephones to set up drug deals with two women and have oxycodone delivered to the station. Wood said authorities believe this has happened multiple times.
Turner was arrested after the department’s communications supervisor discovered he was making the deals while reviewing phone calls from Turner’s shift on Thursday, Wood said. A warrant was filed for his arrest Friday.
Wood said conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance warrants have been issued against the two women involved, who he said had not been arrested as of Friday afternoon.
Wood said Turner was placed on paid administrative leave. Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith issued a recommendation for Turner’s termination, which Wood said will be voted on at a Feb. 25 city council meeting.
As a dispatcher, Wood said Turner is responsible for ensuring the safety of five to eight officers who are responding to calls, receiving calls from the public and sending information to the National Crime Information Center.
“When someone is on duty on illegal narcotics, that poses a great threat to the citizens of Jacksonville, as well as the officers on the streets,” Wood said.
On Friday, Wood said Turner was being held at the Jacksonville City Jail. Turner’s bond was set at $15,000.
Turner is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. March 11.
Conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance is a Class B felony. Turner could face up to two decades in prison and owe up to $30,000 in fines if convicted, according to state law.