Clarksville Gang Leader Sentenced to 16 1/2 Years in Federal Prison
Brian Vance a/k/a Birdman, 30, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was sentenced yesterday to 16 ½ years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for drug conspiracy, accessory after the fact to a drug-related robbery/murder and conspiracy to commit a separate drug-related robbery, announced David Rivera, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
In sentencing Vance, Judge Kevin Sharp noted that Vance served in a leadership role in the gang and drug activity, showed a “complete lack of respect for the law,” and that people who stood ready to take Vance’s position needed to be deterred. Judge Sharp imposed the 200 month sentence against Vance in consideration of these factors, balanced against Vance’s lack of any criminal history and other mitigating factors.
“This is a significant sentence and it should have a significant impact on criminal gang activity in the Clarksville community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “We hope that it serves to deter others who are tempted to take over Vance’s position or otherwise engage in criminal gang activity.”
Vance pleaded guilty to the charges on June 10, 2013. According to the statement of facts presented at the hearing, Vance was involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy responsible for distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in the Clarksville area, particularly in the publicly funded Summit Heights housing development.
A lengthy wiretap investigation, authorized by the district court, enabled investigators to expose the conspiracy and uncover murders which occurred in Clarksville and Stewart County, Tenn. The investigation also determined that Vance obtained cocaine from Robert Porter and cooked most of that cocaine into crack cocaine, which he distributed to co-conspirators, including many fellow Vice Lord members.
Porter has also pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy and is scheduled for sentencing on October 1, 2013.
Vance also provided drugs to his brother, James Farley, Jr., who took the drugs to Stewart County, Tenn. and intended to re-sale them. The buyers, however, tried to rob Farley of the drugs and during the robbery attempt, Farley shot and killed one of the robbers and attempted to kill the other one.
In another incident, three other co-conspirators, who are still pending trial and presumed innocent, are alleged to have killed Raymond Caston in Clarksville while conducting an armed home invasion robbery. Vance then helped these individuals flee Clarksville. Two of them were eventually arrested in Memphis, Tenn., and the third individual returned to Clarksville and conspired with Vance and another person to commit yet another drug-related robbery. That robbery was foiled as a result of the ongoing wiretap investigation.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Clarksville Police Department, with assistance from other local and federal agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sunny A.M. Koshy and Lynne Ingram represented the United States.
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