CANTON (KYTX) - The Canton community shocked, that a local police officer has been arrested for federal drug violations.
32-year-old James Melvin Bradshaw was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for 6 counts of acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation.
Officer Bradshaw has worked at the Canton Police Department since 2005. The indictment alleges Bradshaw used his position as a police officer to get the painkiller hydrocodone from people with legitimate prescriptions.
The indictment shows that he did this six separate times. News of his arrest comes as a shock to a former law enforcement officer who calls Bradshaw a friend.
"Just kind of a jaw drop," said former Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office employee Randy Tidwell.
Tidwell says he can't believe the news.
"As far as his character goes, he's a great guy, who would do anything for anybody. He's always been that way. He has a lot of friends here in town," Tidwell said.
The indictment that shows that on six separate occasions, from January to November of 2012, Bradshaw allegedly took hydrocodone from people who had prescriptions for it, by fraud, deception, or misrepresentation.
"That's not his character," Tidwell said.
While Tidwell was working for the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Department years ago, he knew Bradshaw through the police department.
"A small town, it's like a family here," he said.
He says everyone in area law enforcement is very close.
"It's a family atmosphere so I know they're all thinking about him and pulling for him," he said.
Tidwell is taken back by the serious nature of Bradshaw's charges.
"As far as be believing what happened, I don't believe it," he said.
Others who live in the Canton area, like Lela Tate, are concerned about the allegations against an officer of the law.
"If you get caught you need to go to jail," she said.
However, she says these charges do not change her opinion about the Canton Police Department, which she trusts to keep her and the rest of her community safe.
Officer Bradshaw will remain in custody until his detention hearing on Monday at 2:00 p.m.
He could spend up to 24 years in prison if convicted of all six charges.
Those at the Canton Police Department Friday did not make a comment about the charges.
The case is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.