NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thirty-one individuals were indicted today on narcotics and money laundering charges by a federal grand jury in Nashville, announced Paul M. O'Brien, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee; Harry S. Sommers, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Nashville District Office; My Harrison; Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Memphis Field Division; Cleve Daniels, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Mark Gwyn, Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Ronal Serpas, Chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; and Jackie Moore, Chief of the Franklin Police Department. Over 300 officers and agents from approximately 60 law enforcement agencies, armed with over 20 federal search warrants, began arresting the defendants today. According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to acquire large quantities of cocaine and marijuana from sources of supply in Mexico for distribution in the form of cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana in Tennessee. The objective of the conspiracy was also to generate significant monetary profits in the form of illegal narcotics proceeds from that distribution. The defendants performed different roles and tasks during the course of the conspiracy that included acquiring several hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine and several hundred pound quantities of marijuana in Mexico for importation into the United States, as well as organizing the transportation of cocaine and marijuana across the Mexico border into the United States, including to California, Arizona and Tennessee. Others in the conspiracy prepared, packaged and stored the cocaine and marijuana in stash houses in Tennessee prior to distribution and processed a portion of the cocaine into cocaine base and distributed the cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana to other narcotics traffickers within Tennessee. Others redistributed the cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana to customers in the Nashville and Franklin areas and counted, sorted and packaged currency derived from the sale of cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana. Some members of the conspiracy organized the transportation of currency derived from the sale of these illegal narcotics to their sources of supply and conducted financial transactions designed to conceal the nature, source and ownership of currency derived from the sale of the illegal narcotics. "The investigation and indictments send a clear message that the United States Attorney's Office, the DEA, and its federal, state and local law enforcement partners will target narcotics traffickers that endanger our communities, their supply networks, the organizations responsible for transporting large quantities of narcotics into the Middle District of Tennessee and the money launderers who assist them in concealing their proceeds," said U.S. Attorney Paul O'Brien. Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, "DEA continues to target the most prolific drug traffickers who are in the business of wreaking havoc in our communities. The extensive local, state and federal cooperation led to the dismantling of this criminal organization." Those charged in count one of the indictment with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of over five kilograms of cocaine, over 50 grams of cocaine base, and over 100 kilograms of marijuana include Gary Jackson, Anthony Corley, Edwin Locklayer, Deshay Jones, Eugene Lamont Foster, Terry Biles, Miklos Tadeo Garcia-Carbo, Derrick Lamont Johnson, Clifford Dean Harrison, Darius Travell Gentry, Marquis Grayson, Darryl Covington, Detaniel Troymaine Lee, Brad Poynter, Wendell Hickerson, David Lee McLemore, Rickolas Haynes, Jamie Taylor, Reginald Puckett, Solathus Johnson, Brad Jordan, Dante Hatchett, Ronald Poynter, Jodi Beard, Jimmie Johnson, Seymore Sebastian Staten, Felix Mandrell Leach, James Nelson, Jamal Pope and Robert Rollings. Those charged in count two of the indictment with conspiracy to conduct financial transactions involving narcotics proceeds to conceal and disguise the nature, source, ownership and control of the proceeds include Edwin Locklayer, Deshay Jones and Darryl Moore. The investigation was conducted by the DEA, FBI, IRS, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Franklin Police Department and the 21st Judicial District Drug Task Force, and was initiated in the Spring of 2007. The Sumner County Sheriff's Department, ATF, Tennessee Army National Guard, United States Marshals Service, Tennessee Highway Patrol, the 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, the Wilson County Sheriff's Office, the 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and DEA offices in California, Arizona and Georgia assisted in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Kent for the Middle District of Tennessee will prosecute the case on behalf of the United States. An indictment merely represents an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are proven guilty.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice