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
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