Ex-JPD officer released from federal prison

Larry Pugh

Former Jacksonville Police Officer Larry Pugh completed his federal sentence this past Friday, and was released to Cherokee County sheriff's officials.

According to Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth, Pugh, 45, was transported from a federal facility to the CCSO jail for the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The charge stems from August 2006 when Pugh admitted to putting his belt around a woman's neck in an attempt to drag her into his van. When the belt snapped, the woman was able to run to safety at a nearby friend's house.

The woman was later identified as a female witness in the federal case against Pugh.

Pugh was serving 12 years in prison for pleading guilty to one count of aggravated assault and two counts of forcing an inmate to have sex with him while in custody.

"We got word that he was about to finish his federal time, and we made contact with the TDCJ and the sheriff's office," Beckworth said.

Pugh will be transferred from the Cherokee County jail to a TDCJ unit, according to Beckworth. He said Pugh is set to finish serving his time for the charge until approximately August.

Pugh was originally indicted in 2005 for five counts of violation of civil rights (sexual assault while on duty), and three of the charges were later dismissed. 

In addition to the two victims involved in Pugh’s federal case, eight women came forward to file civil cases against the former officer claiming he also sexually assaulted them from 2005 to 2006. 

Two women were also reported missing during that time - Terri Reyes and Shunte Coleman.

Reyes and Coleman reportedly had connections to Pugh. The remains of both women were later found in San Augustine County.

"Feds, San Augustine and Shelby County officials were looking into those. We're still investigating them to an extent, but only a motive was found in our county," Beckworth said.

Pugh joined JPD in January 2003. He was suspended for allegations of misconduct Oct. 21, 2005 and later fired upon his arrest by the FBI in February 2006.

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