|11 suspects, including 2 from UC, indicted on drug trafficking charges |
|Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:56 pm |
|Eleven suspects — including two from Union City — have been named in indictments charging them with federal drug trafficking violations. |
The unsealing of the two indictments was announced Monday by U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III and Aaron T. Ford, special agent in charge of the Memphis division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The suspects were arrested on Monday during a round-up of drug suspects by multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The indictments, which were returned March 19 by a federal grand jury in Jackson, contained counts alleging violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Suspects arrested during the operation were identified as Kendrick Benard Allen, Leon Russell Jr., Yulonda Latrice Smith, Jamal Taylor, Jodeci Santonio Arnold, Terence James Thomas, Walinda Baker Spain, Jason Martell Adams, Angela Lynette Nelson and Anthony Pollard.
At the time of the round-up, eight of the suspects resided in Dyersburg, two in Union City and one in Ripley. Authorities did not disclose specifically where each suspect lived.
The charges in the indictments stem from the illegal activity of selling, manufacturing and distributing cocaine, as well as cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, and go back as far as March 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Each of the 10 suspects was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and more than 28 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine). This charge is punishable by no less than five years and not more than 40 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $5,000,000, or both, together with a mandatory term of not less than four years’ supervised release.
Stanton said the suspects were taken into custody without incident, adding that two of the suspects were incarcerated at the time of the arrests.
He said there was one individual whose name was not released because he is not in custody, but the 11th suspect has made arrangements to turn himself in.
The indictments are part of the efforts of the West Tennessee Violent Crime Task Force, an FBI-sponsored task force comprised of agents from the FBI Memphis Division’s Jackson Resident Agency, the Dyersburg Police Department and the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office.
The West Tennessee Violent Crime Task Force focuses on bringing together the combined resources of the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office, the Dyersburg Police Department and the FBI.
“Law abiding citizens throughout West Tennessee are fed up with the distribution of drugs in their communities,” Stanton said. “Our office will not tolerate the unlawful distribution of narcotics and those that dare to violate federal drug laws will be vigorously prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Gang- and drug-related violence is a serious threat to our communities and are threatening small and rural areas more today than ever before,” Ford added. “The FBI will continue to combat these issues through strong partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement via task forces and other relationships to ensure the safety of our communities.”
The case was investigated by the several members of the West Tennessee Violent Crimes Task Force, including special agents Wes Mayes and Joe Upton, both assigned to the FBI Memphis division’s Jackson Resident Agency; Sgt. Todd Thayer of the Dyersburg Police Department; and investigator Chris Gorman of the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Wilson on behalf of the government.
Published in The Messenger 4.3.12