Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Linden Man Arrested After Confronting TBI During Voter Fraud Interview

TBI Photo

PERRY COUNTY, TN - A Linden man was arrested Monday after confronting undercover TBI agents.

James Edward Mercer was arrested and charged with one count of Aggravated Assault. Mercer is accused of pointing a gun at Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents as they were questioning neighbors about the county's 2016 election.

Sources tell WOPC-HD News the agents showed up to private residences, unannounced in an unmarked gold civilian truck without notifying the Perry County Sheriff's Office that they were in the county.  The agents were not escorted by a marked patrol car, and neighbors were alarmed. Neighbors say they found it 'hard to believe' that the TBI was investigating an election nearly 1 and a half years later, and many neighbors tell WOPC-HD they thought the men were not actual TBI agents.

While a neighbor was being questioned, Mercer allegedly pointed a weapon at a TBI agent as he drove away.  As a result, Mercer was arrested and booked into the Perry County Jail and released after posting a $30,000 bond. Mercer reportedly told authorities he did not point a gun directly at the agents, and he told them to leave because he did not believe their stated identity.

Typically, sources say, county officials are notified about such investigations so authorities can reassure residents, to avoid situations just like this. Reports indicate that neighbors began calling 911 to report the agents, thinking they were impersonators. Authorities dispatched deputies after neighbors became upset with the situation. 

Meanwhile, neighbors say they were questioned about the 2016 general election. Accusations have apparently been made about the provisional or 'mail-in' ballots, and agents are questioning if voters 'were able to vote the way they wanted'. It is not known who is questioning the results of the election, or how the investigation began.

Susan Niland, a spokesperson for the TBI, confirmed they are investigating reports of 'voter fraud' in the 2016 county election.

Mercer appeared in Perry County General Sessions Court on Wednesday and the case was continued until April.