APD Dispatcher Drug Bust

On June 4, Austin Police Dept. dispatcher Maccabee Memmen was placed on administrative leave without pay after being indicted on federal drug charges. On May 28 a federal grand jury indicted Memmen on three counts, including conspiracy and "possession with intent to distribute" nearly 200 pounds of marijuana. Memmen worked for APD for two years, said police spokesman Kevin Buchman. After federal authorities contacted APD last month concerning their ongoing probe, Buchman said, APD sent two narcotics detectives to San Antonio, where the dispatcher lived, to aid federal investigators.

Memmen worked for APD for nearly two years, but it wasn't until after he was hired that the department discovered he had a criminal record. According to Buchman the department conducted a "cursory" background check before Memmen was hired, but it wasn't until they ran his fingerprints through a national database, some time after he began working as a dispatcher, that APD discovered that Memmen was convicted in 1995 of unlawfully carrying a weapon and again in 1999 for a DWI. Still, Buchman said that after reviewing that information, the department decided to keep Memmen as an employee. "Part of our judgment was that the [1995 conviction] happened when he was 18, and he'd had a couple years of military service after that," Buchman said. "So when we looked at it and after talking to him we thought ... our decision to hire him was valid."

Memmen remained on duty after police heard about the federal investigation so that Memmen would not become suspicious. "We didn't want to jeopardize [the] investigation," Buchman said. Memmen will remain an APD employee -- at least on paper -- pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle