KNOXVILLE – A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service has resulted in the indictment and arrest of Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray and two of his employees.
In August 2017, TBI Special Agents, with the assistance of state and federal authorities, began investigating allegations of illegal activity occurring at the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed that from August 2017 through August 2018, Ray used inmate labor and county resources to work on vehicles and equipment he personally owned. Inmate labor was also used to assemble Ray’s campaign signs. The investigation further revealed that Ray forged and altered the certificate of title to at least one vehicle, and attempted to evade paying the proper sales tax on several personally owned vehicles that he sold dating back to 2012. During the course of the investigation, agents learned that Larry Allen Roberts, a sheriff’s office employee also known as “Fireball”, utilized a county vehicle to acquire a controlled substance. The investigation also determined that Larry Lee Martin, a captain at the sheriff’s office, possessed a handgun on multiple occasions despite being a convicted felon.
Today, the Claiborne County Grand Jury returned indictments charging David Michael Ray (DOB 6/29/46), below left, with seven counts of Official Misconduct, one count of Use of Inmates for Personal Gain, one count of Forgery, and six counts of Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax Due. Larry Allen Roberts (DOB 4/16/64), below middle, is charged with two counts of Official Misconduct. Larry Lee Martin (DOB 8/30/72), below right, is charged with three counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. All three men were arrested Wednesday and booked into the Claiborne County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
The investigation remains active and ongoing by state and federal authorities.