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May 16, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.-- Walter Carter, 36, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was sentenced to 360 months in prison today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga, by the Honorable Harry S. Mattice, Jr., U.S. District Judge. Carter was found guilty by a federal jury in October 2010 of one count of possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (crack) and one count of conspiracy to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (crack). Carter was sentenced to 360 months in prison on each count, with both counts ordered to run concurrently. He was also ordered to serve eight years of supervised release following his prison term and pay a fee special assessment of $200.

Carter’s 30-year sentence was driven in part by his lengthy criminal history which included a conviction for voluntary manslaughter as well as four prior felony convictions for drug trafficking offenses. These prior convictions resulted in Carter being classified as a “career offender” under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The evidence showed that Carter was responsible for distributing at least 14 grams of crack cocaine in the Chattanooga area.

Carter is the last of three defendants to be sentenced on related drug charges. Carter’s co-defendant, Kenneth Smith, 43, of Chattanooga, was sentenced to 170 months in prison on February 25, 2010. Smith’s sentence followed a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (crack). Michael McCallie, 35, of Chattanooga, was sentenced to 188 months in prison after pleading guilty in a related crack distribution case.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian commented on the sentence received by Carter and his co-defendants. “Drug dealers need to know that federal sentences for drug crimes will result in them spending a substantial amount of their life in prison, especially if they have a prior history for these crimes. There is no parole in the federal system. This case is another example of a defendant choosing to continue dealing drugs after being arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for the same conduct several times. Our office will prosecute these repeat offenders. Our message is clear. If you don’t stop; you will pay a heavy price.”

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Carter was the result of a year-long investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in conjunction with the Chattanooga Police Department. This investigation was led by ATF Task Force Officer Phillip Narramore. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Bay represented the United States.

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