News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2008

Former Fugitive Craig Petties Appears in Memphis Court

JAN 23 -- Memphis, TN - Former fugitive Craig Petties made his initial appearance in Memphis today to face federal narcotics and money laundering charges pending in the Western District of Tennessee. This announcement was made by David Kustoff, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

As previously announced, Petties was arrested in Mexico last week. Petties, who is in custody, appeared before the Honorable Diane K. Vescovo, United States Magistrate Judge, Western District of Tennessee, in the Clifford Davis/Odell Horton Federal Building in downtown Memphis. This was Petties’ first appearance in this district to face the indictment in Case No. 02-20449 which charges Petties with violations of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana), 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (possession of cocaine and marijuana with the intent to distribute) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957 (money laundering).

The Magistrate Judge advised Petties of the charges against him and the potential penalties for these charges. The Magistrate Judge advised Petties that an attorney would be appointed to represent him based on Petties’ request for appointed counsel and his representations under oath that he had no funds or assets with which to pay for an attorney. The Government requested that Petties be detained pending trial, and the Magistrate Judge set the bail hearing for Thursday, January 24, 2008, at 2:45 p.m. The Magistrate Judge then remanded Petties to the custody of the United States Marshal.

Petties was arrested by the Mexican Government which has been working in coordination with the DEA and the Marshals Service. The DEA and the Marshals Service spearheaded the several-year effort to locate and arrest Petties. The investigation resulting in the charges in this case has been led by the DEA’s Memphis office, and important assistance has been provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Leary and Stuart Canale, with the Memphis office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

The prosecutors and investigating agencies again express their appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Mexico for providing assistance which has been essential to the success of this law enforcement operation. The investigation is continuing.

For more information on DEA fugitives, Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division (which consists of Georgia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee) would like to direct you to DEA’s interactive web site at www.dea.gov. Once on the site, scroll down to “More Local News,” click on Atlanta Division, search the DEA Divisions by location, and go to “Catch a Local Fugitive.”

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