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A burner phone, fake Facebook profile, and the Lyon County sheriff

Lyon County Sheriff Brad Pope

A burner phone, fake Facebook profile, and the Lyon County sheriff

When Brad Pope, a sergeant in the sheriff’s office in Lyon County, Nevada, was running for election against his boss, he allegedly used a fake Facebook profile to leak confidential case information.

After receiving a tip, I uncovered the facts about the criminal investigation by serving a Public Records Act request on the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

Though Pope’s name doesn’t appear in the redacted documents that DPS sent me, the documents reveal that he was investigated after allegedly using a burner phone to open a Facebook account under the name “Hank Tyme.”

Three weeks after Pope announced his candidacy for sheriff in March 2022, posts by “Hank Tyme” began attacking then-Sheriff Frank Hunewill’s handling of the Naomi Irion murder case, which was the subject of intense public interest in Northern Nevada and nationwide.

In August 2022, “Hank Tyme” posted graphic, confidential details on Facebook about a suicide attempt by Troy Driver, who was being held in the Lyon County jail on charges of abducting and murdering Irion.

The jail cell in Lyon County, Nevada, where Troy Driver committed suicide in August 2023.

The post accused Hunewill of trying to hide the information because he didn’t want the suicide attempt to reflect poorly on his management of the jail. “They won’t release this because the Sheriff won’t let them,” the post read. “I work here. I know. The Sheriff is a joke.”

“Hank Tyme” also sent a private message to KRNV-TV in Reno repeating the graphic information about Driver’s suicide attempt and alleging that Hunewill was “covering it up because he has nothing else to run on other than the jail and we’ve had several suicide attempts from hanging lately.”

Hunewill confirmed to me that Pope was the subject of the “Hank Tyme” investigation, He also said that he didn’t release details about the suicide attempt because “an inmate has privacy rights in health-related information, including behavioral health. “

Ten weeks later, Pope won the election by 968 votes, a margin of 4.5 percent.

In August 2023, when Pope was in charge of managing the Lyon County jail, Driver died by hanging himself in his cell.

Here’s my article about the “Hank Tyme” case: https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/a-burner-phone-a-fake-facebook-profile-and-a-campaign-for-sheriff-2969817/

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