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February 22, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


GANGSTA CRIP GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF DRUG TRAFFICKING AND FIREARMS CHARGES IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT

GREENEVILLE, Tenn-- After a five-day jury trial in Greeneville, Tennessee, a federal jury convicted Lynce Prentice Foster, 32, of Nashville, Tennessee, of cocaine trafficking and firearms charges that occurred in Morristown, Tennessee. Sentencing has been set for August 30, 2010. He faces a minimum and mandatory 35 years up to life in prison. Federal sentences are not parolable.

The evidence showed that during 2005 and 2006, Foster was the subject of a drug trafficking investigation by the Morristown Police Department and was arrested for being involved in the distribution of cocaine. During the course of the five-day trial, witnesses described the distribution of multi-kilograms of cocaine and cocaine base (“crack”) by the organization along with numerous acts of violence associated with the drug trafficking. Testimony of witnesses during the trial convinced the jury that Foster was guilty of the charges revolving around the organization's distribution of cocaine during 2005 and 2006.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that Foster had ordered the kidnaping and robbery of an Hispanic male drug trafficker during the course of the conspiracy. After he was kidnaped, the man was forced to reveal the location of a stash house in Greene County, Tennessee. Members of the organization then proceeded to the stash house where they recovered $30,000 in cash, over a kilogram of cocaine, and several pounds of marijuana. The Hispanic drug trafficker, after being beaten, was released by one of the co-conspirators and was found by Trooper Chris Moore walking along Highway 11-E on Sunday, January 29, 2006, wearing nothing but a tee shirt.

Evidence was also presented that Lynce "Trey Ball" Foster, a member of the "Gangsta Crip" street gang and fellow Crip member, Michael "Pacman" Patton abandoned a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck on February 5, 2006, in Morristown. The truck was found to contain what the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Laboratory determined to be 225 grams of cocaine, one firearm found inside the truck and another located nearby. Patton is set for sentencing in federal court in Greeneville on drug trafficking charges on March 22, 2010.

The conviction in this case is the result of the combined efforts of the Morristown Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and assisted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Greene County Sheriff's Department. AUSA Rob Reeves and SAUSA Ben Whittemore represented the United States.

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