I first wrote about Bruce Levy’s bizarre arrest last March. Levy headed up the Nashville firm that took over all of Mississippi’s autopsies after the state effectively fired Steven Hayne in 2008. Last spring, the night before the Mississippi legislature was to vote on a bill that stopped an attempt by some Mississippi counties to rehire Hayne, Levy was arrested in a pot sting conducted by Mississippi police.
This week, Levy was indicted by a grand jury. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
Like the Roger Wiener case, this story just doesn’t smell right. The allegation is that Levy purchased a big box of pot and had it FedExed to the hotel he was staying at while he was doing some autopsies in Jackson. I guess that would make some sense if Levy were a (not particularly bright) casual pot smoker and needed a fix. But the police also allege that in addition to the FedEx box, Levy had pot stashed all over his room. If he was stealing drugs off the bodies he autopsied and selling them (as suggested in the linked article), why would he buy another big package of pot while he was staying in Jackson? And why in the world would a doctor who owns his own autopsy firm be engaged in low level pot distribution in the first place?
I should say that at this point I have zero evidence that this was a set-up. And it’s worth noting that the policy agency that conducted the sting reports to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, which is currently headed up by Steve Simpson. Simpson is the one who basically fired Hayne, who made the contract with Levy’s firm, and he actively opposed the bill to bring Hayne back that the legislature was scheduled to vote on the day after Levy’s arrest. So it’s entirely possible that Levy was just a really dumb, really careless (but quite successful) doctor who for whatever reason also dealt marijuana on the side. But the timing of his arrest is incredibly coincidental, and the other details we know so far are . . . . really, really strange.
As I’ve covered this Hayne stuff it has occurred to me that HBO could make a pretty wicked dark comedy series about the autopsy/medical examiner business the south. Not only would they not need to change anything from what actually goes on to make the show more interesting, they’d probably need to leave some real-life events out to make it more believable.