Nov. 14, 2013. The Avery County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint concerning the possible illegal activity on the part of Beech Mountain Police Officer Josh Hernandez.
Sheriff Frye had the complaint forwarded to Chief Jerry Turbyfill, of the Beech Mountain Police Department, and the chief initiated an internal investigation into the matter.
When it became obvious that there was some validity to the complaint, Chief Turbyfill contacted the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the case further. After a brief investigation by the S.B.I., Officer Hernandez was relieved of his duties with the police department and turned himself in to face a felony charge of conspiracy to obtain a controlled Substance.
Hernandez was released on an unsecured bond of $25,000.
Chief Turbyfill could not comment publicly on personnel issues; however he did state that Joshua Hernandez was a good man and fine officer with an unblemished career to this point.
Chief Turbyfill and Sheriff Frye both agree that in law enforcement not only are we sworn to protect the public, we must also police ourselves even more closely than we police the public.
Editor’s Note: Frye and Turbyfill wouldn’t provide further comment, and a spokesperson at the SBI didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.