Federal Search and Arrest Warrants Executed in clarksville Drug Trafficking Investigation
Federal, state and local law enforcement officers, armed with numerous search warrants and arrest warrants, began arresting individuals Friday night, in the Clarksville, Tennessee area, after a lengthy investigation targeting drug traffickers and members and associates of a violent street gang, announced Jerry E. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee; Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Atlanta Field Division; and Mark Gwyn, Director, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Since December 9, 2010, federal arrest warrants were issued charging 28 defendants with conspiracy to distribute drugs, including cocaine and crack cocaine, between June 2010 and the present. One defendant is also charged with maintaining a place for manufacturing a controlled substance. According to the complaint, a federal wiretap investigation led to the charges. The complaint lists numerous telephone calls intercepted in the wiretaps in which the defendants are alleged to have been carrying out their drug trafficking conspiracy.
“The citizens of Clarksville should feel safer thanks to the tireless work and dedication of the Clarksville Police Department, TBI and DEA,” said U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin. “ As a direct result of the cooperation between these agencies, these defendants face a minimum of 10 years in federal prison, if convicted. There is no parole in the federal system.”
Rodney G. Benson, SAC of the Atlanta Field Division of the DEA stated, "This investigation and subsequent prosecution will significantly impact the operations of this violent drug trafficking organization. The result of the cooperation between the Clarksville Police Department, TBI and the DEA, during the past six months of this investigation, will result in a safer city for the citizens of Clarksville and surrounding communities. "
"This case is an example of how gang activity is linked to drug dealing and drug dealing is linked to violent crime. As a result of this investigation, law enforcement was able to deal a significant blow to the organization which should help put a dent in violent crime in Clarksville."
Currently, 22 of the 28 defendants have been taken into custody and are identified as:
Robert Porter, 32, of Nashville;
Brian Vance, 28, of Clarksville;
Anthony Shelton, 21, of Clarksville;
Lamont Cotton,32, of Clarksville;
Robert Ligon, 20, of Clarksville;
Demetruis Duncan, 29, of Clarksville;
Dominique Simons, 28, of Clarksville ;
Travis Hodges, 29, of Clarksville;
Donald Ewing, 24, of Clarksville;
Xavier Parnell, 23, of Clarksville;
Michael Brown, 29, of Clarksville;
Deonis Jelks, 22, of Clarksville;
Kronski Howard, 24, of Clarksville;
Shatika Dix, 22, of Clarksville;
Alto Parnell, 28, of Clarksville;
Chris Young, 22, of Clarksville;
James Farley Jr, 26, of Clarksville;
Dontrel Pittman, 22, of Clarksville;
Donnie Patterson, 31, of Clarksville;
Dedrick Shine, 26, of Clarksville;
Jerry Dinkins, 21, of Clarksville; and
Dmitri Johnson, 36, of Clarksville, also charged with maintaining a place for manufacturing a controlled substance;
Six individuals charged in the complaint are not in custody and remain at large.
All defendants face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a life sentence and a $4 million fine.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Clarksville Police Department were the lead investigative agencies in this case. Many other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners are assisting in the ongoing effort to safely serve the federal warrants.
Assistant United States Attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
The public is reminded that the complaints filed against these defendants are merely allegations and are not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is presumed not guilty and is entitled to a jury trial, at which, the government has the burden of proving the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
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