News and Press Releases

Defendant Sentenced to Life for Conspiring to Sell Cocaine

January 8, 2010

Memphis, TN - David Staples of Memphis, TN, 45, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, and four years of incarceration for using a communications device in relation to this conspiracy by U. S. District Court Judge Samuel H. Mays announced Lawrence J. Laurenzi, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.  Staples was found guilty on March 5, 2009 following a trial.

According to testimony in court, Staples was associated with the drug trafficking activities occurring out of JJ’s Tire Shop, 1444 National Street.  JJ’s Tire Shop was the focus of Operation Titan, a long term investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that has resulted in the convictions of over 60 priority drug dealers and the seizures of millions of dollars in currency and narcotics.  Staples purchased kilogram quantities of cocaine sold out of JJ’s Tire Shop which derived from Mexican drug cartels for ultimate resale in the streets of Memphis.  Because Staples had two prior felony drug offenses, the statutory punishment was life.

“This case serves as another example, to those individuals who ignore our warnings, that people who continue to violate our drug laws will face serious consequences,” said US Attorney Laurenzi.  “Mr. Staples, having been convicted twice for distributing narcotics, continued distributing in our community.  This conduct is not acceptable.  Those people who continue to sell drugs on our streets, after having been convicted of the same crime, will face serious jail time.”

"A message has been sent today, that the efforts to put drugs onto the streets of Memphis will not go unpunished,” said the FBI's Memphis Division Special Agent in Charge My Harrison. “The FBI and its sister law enforcement agencies have shown that we will work tirelessly to bring criminals to justice.”                                                     

"The importation of illegal narcotics into the United States is a very serious crime and those ruthless individuals involved in such criminal enterprises will never receive a reprieve from law enforcement," said Michael A. Holt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in New Orleans.  "In our efforts to keep drugs off the streets of Memphis, we will continue using all of our resources to identify and dismantle drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that operate within our jurisdiction."

“I commend the work of the task force for its dedication to this case. We will continue to provide every resource possible for the fight against drug trafficking in our community,” said Shelby County Sheriff Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement , the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and the Memphis Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Braden H.  Boucek and Greg Gilluly handled the prosecution this case on behalf of the United States along with FBI Special Agent Jeremy Baker.

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