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September 5, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

South Florida Man Sentenced For Role In Bringing Oxycodone To East Tennessee

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Semmaj Jarquis Taylor, 40, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., was sentenced on September 5, 2012, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 97 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and money laundering. Upon his release from prison he will serve six years on supervised release. Taylor pleaded guilty to a federal indictment in December 2011.

Taylor admitted that he was involved with others in south Florida supplying oxycodone to several individuals in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee as well as southwest Virginia. Co-conspirators were depositing cash from drug proceeds into the bank accounts of Dena McGaughey and others as payment for these drugs. Taylor admitted to distributing 4,976 oxycodone pills and laundering between $120 thousand and $200 thousand in drug proceeds. All 26 individuals charged in the indictment with Taylor have now been convicted.

Others convicted from this investigation include: Rodney Allen Mitchell, 32, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Maurice William Gravely, 41, of Gray, Tenn.; Cedric D’Andre Mitchell, 22, of Big Stone Gap, Va.; Rachel Nichole Goad, 34, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Curtis Louis Prior, Jr., 35, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Jennifer Mitchell, 38, Kingsport, Tenn.; Lloyd James Steed, Jr., 34, Detroit, Mich.; Gilbert Miller, 42, Kingsport, Tenn.; James Howard Poole, Jr., 39, Kingsport, Tenn.; Jarian Hamler, 31, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Joshua Clark Martin, 29, Kingsport, Tenn.; Shawn James Banks, 40, Detroit, Mich.; Marquis Cornelius Taylor, 37, Miami, Fla.; Nekia Dwayne Clark, 35, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Allen Vaughn Crews, 37, Centerville, Va.; Justin Colby Vaughn, 36, Del Ray Beach, Fla.; Antwain Dwayne Hollinger, 33, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Adrian Jamal Cornette, 27, Wise County, Va.; Mose Devaughn White, 34, Johnson City, Tenn.; Duvale Pruitt, 37, Kingsport, Tenn.; Stephen Anthony Graham, 25, Johnson City, Tenn.; Stacy Montague White, 39, Kingsport, Tenn.; Keira Lashawn Moore, 29, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Semmaj Jarquis Taylor, 40, Dearfield Beach, Fla.; Dena Marie McGaughey, 39, Delray Beach, Fla.; and Victoria Danielle Bays, Johnson City, Tenn.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Taylor was the result of a four-year investigation conducted by the Tennessee Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, Kingsport Tennessee Police Department, Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Johnson City Tennessee Police Department, Washington County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division, all of which provided valuable assistance during the course of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert M. Reeves, Eastern District of Tennessee and Zachary T. Lee, Western District of Virginia, represented the United States. Other individuals related to this investigation have been prosecuted by Sullivan County Tennessee District Attorney General Barry Staubus, and by the Wise County Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronald K. Elkins, which have been involved with the investigation since its inception in 2007.

The investigation is a result of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

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