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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS ACILE SNEED, JR. FOR WITNESS RETALIATION

Cocke County Man Stabbed Person For Providing Information To FBI

GREENEVILLE, Tenn--Following a two day trial in United States District Court, Greeneville, Tennessee, a jury convicted Acile Sneed, Jr., 34, of Newport, Tennessee, of causing bodily injury to another person in retaliation for the person providing information concerning federal offenses to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Sentencing is set for December 1, 2010, at 9:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer in Greeneville, Tennessee. Sneed faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sneed has remained in custody since his arrest on March 15, 2010.

The evidence presented at trial established that cousins Chris and Jason Lane of Newport had provided information to FBI special agents in early September 2009 concerning criminal activities of Jamie Cortez and Sneed involving interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and property, VIN altering, and chop shops. The FBI executed search warrants at Cortez’ residence in September 2009 resulting in the seizure of three stolen Jeeps and other stolen property. Cortez was subsequently indicted in federal court in November 2009 and the search warrants, setting out the Lanes’ cooperation, were unsealed in December 2009. Sneed obtained copies of pages from the search warrant affidavit which detailed the Lanes’ cooperation. After the Lanes had stopped to visit Sneed at his Cocke County garage on January 2, 2010, Sneed called the cousins “snitchin’ rats” and, reaching through the open driver’s window of the Lanes’ truck, began to stab Chris Lane. Lane was stabbed in the chest, arm, and abdomen before he and his cousin were able to escape. Chris Lane was initially treated at Cocke County Baptist Hospital and was then airlifted to UT Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

U.S. Attorney James R. “Russ” Dedrick praised the jury’s verdict. “We hope that the jury’s verdict sends a strong message that attempts to threaten or intimidate our criminal justice system will not be tolerated. Law enforcement officers must rely upon citizens and witnesses to provide information to them about criminal activity. We will vigorously pursue and prosecute any criminals who attempt to injure or harm people who report crime.”

PLaw enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to indictment and subsequent conviction of Sneed include the FBI, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol-Criminal Investigation Division, Tennessee Department of Revenue Special Investigations Unit, and Cocke County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith represented the United States at trial.

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