A Meigs County litter control officer is due in court today, charged with plotting to kill his girlfriend's ex-husband by hiring a hit man, authorities said.
But Jack "Jackie" Scroggins later found out the man he was trying to hire was an undercover agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, agency spokeswoman Kristin Helm said Wednesday.
Scroggins, 52, of Georgetown, Tenn., was arrested Tuesday and charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder, Helm said in a news release. Scroggins is being held without bond in the Meigs County Jail, she said.
Meigs Sheriff Jackie Melton said Scroggins was hired six years ago and ran the sheriff's office litter program. His job was to oversee inmates who work to clean up litter on highways and county roads, Melton said.
Scroggins wasn't a certified peace officer, the sheriff said.
When the sheriff's office got wind that Scroggins was trying to hire someone to kill his girlfriend's ex-husband, authorities asked the TBI to investigate, Melton said.
While he wouldn't say how the sheriff's office learned of the alleged plot, the sheriff did say Scroggins wasn't talking about his plan at work.
The TBI began the investigation last week, Helm said.
During that time, Scroggins met with an undercover TBI agent twice to discuss details of the plot, Helm said. He paid the agent $1,000 in advance, and another $100 to use a particular gun, she said.
Scroggins, who doesn't have a previous criminal record in Tennessee, is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment today, Melton said.
The sheriff said he was surprised to hear of such a circumstance in Meigs County.
"It's a shock," he said.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...