by Kaden Gicker
One night, Eric Cain was pulled over as he was driving his car, The Commercial Appeal reported. The Tennessee drug dealer had seen a blue flashing light behind him and obeyed the indication from the vehicle tailing him that he needed to pull off the road. But it was not a police officer who approached his vehicle that night. It was a group of bandits wearing guns and clothes marked with “police.”
Once they got him off the road, the group handcuffed him and put a bag over his head. They drove him to a house where they believed he was hiding his stash of drugs and money. When they asked him where the goods were, he gave them an answer that they didn’t like, and so, they beat him and burned him, including on his head and neck. They tortured him until they paused to answer a phone call. When his tormentors stepped out to take the call, he launched himself from a window, hands still cuffed and head still hooded.
A passerby soon noticed the badly tortured man. Cain was transported to the hospital, where he spent a week in a burn unit and underwent surgery for his wounds.
But his kidnapping and assault was just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger case. How, after all, had the bandits known who he was and his location? It turned out they had gotten to his vehicle before the incident, placing a GPS device on it so that they could track him. How had they obtained a blue dashboard light that tricked Cain into thinking they were police? Well, it turned out that’s where the story gets complicated. Eric Cain wasn’t the only drug dealer who had been targeted. Nor had his kidnappers been the only such group of bandits.
Enter Sam Blue, 63, former police officer with the Memphis PD. In January 2020, Blue pleaded guilty to conspiring with numerous groups of bandits between 2014 and 2018 to target and steal from drug dealers in the area. He admitted in his trial to aiding the group that kidnapped and tortured Eric Cain, giving them the law enforcement access code to Cain’s apartment complex. He worked with other groups, giving them addresses to target people and distributing police gear to help them appear as law enforcement officers, including a blue dashboard light and even a police badge.
But he got caught and pleaded guilty to charges of violence and intimidation, conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce, and conspiracy to violate civil rights by using force. In late October 2022, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
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