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February 25, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


FIFTEEN INDICTED FOR NARCOTICS, FIREARMS, AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSES

Fifteen Indicted in Six Indictments

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn - A federal grand jury in Chattanooga returned six multi-count indictments on February 23, 2010, against Ryan Birt, a/k/a "Lil R," 44, of Chattanooga; James Parker, a/k/a "JP," 45, of Whitwell; Ronald Howard, a/k/a "Snake," 58, of Benton; Steven Tucker, a/k/a "Steve-O," 38, of Rossville, Georgia; James Westbrook, a/k/a "Smiley," 44, of Rossville, Georgia; David Woodward, 40, of Cleveland; Robert Boone, a/k/a "Bb," 49, of Chattanooga; Jeramy Rittenhouse, a/k/a "Cracker," 36, of Chattanooga; Roger Roof, a/k/a "Buddha," 46, of Chattanooga; Charles Kinsey, a/k/a "Robbie," 41, of Ringgold, Georgia; Gary Raines, a/k/a "Doodah," 58, of Marion County; Hershell Raines, 26, of Marion County; James Miller, a/k/a "Dozer," 40, of Chattanooga; Kelly Adams, 32, of Chattanooga; and Marcus Smith, 41, of Chattanooga, for various narcotics, firearms, and child pornography charges spanning across two years.

Thirteen of the defendants appeared in court February 25, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee and all entered pleas of not guilty to the charges in the indictments. Trial has been set for May 3, 2010, in United States District Court, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Smith, Adams, Miller, Tucker, Rittenouse, Howard, Boone, Birt, Kinsey, and Woodward. Trial has been set for April 27, 2010, in United States District Court, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Gary and Hershell Raines, Westbrook, and Roof.

Smith, Adams, Miller, Tucker, Rittenhouse, Howard, and Boone were charged together in a ten-count indictment alleging conspiracy to distribute cocaine, as well as substantive cocaine and crack distribution charges.

If convicted, each of these defendants face up to twenty years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000 on each count. Smith, Adams, and Miller each face an additional mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years up to a maximum of forty years on the crack cocaine charges, plus five years of supervised release, and a $2,000,000 fine.

Gary Raines, Hershell Raines, Westbrook, and Roof were charged together in a four-count indictment alleging conspiracy to distribution cocaine and substantive cocaine distribution charges.

If convicted, each of these defendants face up to twenty years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine on each count.

Birt was indicted individually for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possessing child pornography, and receiving child pornography.

If convicted, Birt faces up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for the firearm and child pornography possession charges and a minimum mandatory sentence of five years up to twenty years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on the child pornography receipt charge.

Kinsey was indicted individually for distribution of Dihydrocodeinone, a schedule III controlled substance (two counts), and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted, Kinsey faces up to twenty years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine on each of the drug charges. If convicted of the related firearm charge, Kinsey faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence.

Woodward was indicted individually for distribution of methamphetamine and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

If convicted, Woodward faces up to twenty years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine on the drug charge. If convicted of the related firearm charge, Woodward faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence.

United States Attorney James R. (Russ) Dedrick credits the diligent and professional work conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) over the past two years in developing this complex investigation. It is unusual for a single investigation to span so many law enforcement initiatives: Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), Project Safe Childhood (PSC), Appalachia High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and the District’s Anti-Gang Initiative.

"ATF enforces the law without fear or favor, whether Outlaws or in-laws,... felons cannot have guns, dope dealers cannot carry guns, and possession of child pornography remains a criminal offense," said Jim Cavanaugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"I thank the men and women from each agencyinvolved in this investigation that spent hours away from home in order to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion," said Chattanooga Police Department Chief Freeman Cooper.

"The Bradley County Sheriff's Department appreciates the opportunity to work with ATF to remove firearms and drugs off the streets in our community," stated Sheriff Tim Gobble.

Tenth Judicial Drug Task Force Director Mike Hall said "you can only take down criminal organizations through a cooperative effort. When Federal, local and state agencies begin to work as a unified law enforcement entity you see major criminal organizations crumble. I'm very honored to be a part of such a great group of men and women in law enforcement."

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said, "I want to thank the ATF and all the officers involved in this investigation. This long and well-executed effort by these officers and agencies is just one of the many examples of what can be accomplished when local, state and federal agencies combine their efforts and resources toward a common goal. I look forward to our continued joint operations aimed at making our community a safer place to live and work."

These indictments are the result of a long-term undercover investigation led by the ATF and assisted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Chattanooga Police Department, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, and the Tenth Judicial District Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poole will represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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