Constable James Lee Thomas

Constable James Lee Thomas

Jefferson County Constable's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Thursday, April 11, 1946

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James Lee Thomas

Constable James Thomas was shot and killed in a case of mistaken identity while raiding a still near the Jefferson County - Cocke County line.

He had accompanied the county sheriff, a deputy, and another constable to the location at approximately 5:00 am. After hiking a half mile to the area the four split up to approach the still from different sides. As they arrived at the still Constable Thomas and the sheriff were fired upon by a group of federal agents from the Internal Revenue Service Alcohol Tax Unit who had the site under surveillance.

The sheriff and Constable Thomas were both struck by the gunfire, as was the other constable who ran to their aid.

All four federal agents involved in the incident were charged with murder.

Constable Thomas had served as an elected constable for 12 years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

Most Recent Reflection

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Constable Thomas,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Jefferson County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 11, 2021

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