11 Suspects Indicted In West Tennessee On
Federal Drug Trafficking Violations
Jackson, Tenn.- United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III, and Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI, announced the unsealing of two indictments charging 11 suspects with federal drug trafficking violations. The suspects were arrested on Monday during a round-up of drug suspects by multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
The indictments, which were returned by a federal grand jury in Jackson, TN on March 19, 2012, contained counts alleging violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The suspects arrested during the operation were:
• Kendrick Benard Allen
• Leon Russell Jr.
• Yulonda Latrice Smith
• Jamal Taylor
• Jodeci Santonio Arnold
• Terence James Thomas
• Walinda Baker Spain
• Jason Martell Adams
• Angela Lynette Nelson
• Anthony Pollard
The charges in the indictments stem from the illegal activity of selling, manufacturing, and distributing cocaine, as well as cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, and go back as far as March 2011.
Each of the 11 suspects was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and more than 28 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine). This charge is punishable by no less than five years, and not more than forty years imprisonment, a fine of $5,000,000, or both, together with a mandatory term of not less than four years supervised release.
United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III said the suspects were taken into custody without incident, and added that two of the suspects were incarcerated at the time of the arrests. He also added there was one individual whose name was not released, because he is not in custody but who has made arrangements to turn himself in. At the time of the round up, eight of the suspects resided in Dyersburg, two in Union City, and one in Ripley.
The indictments are part of the efforts of the West Tennessee Violent Crime Task Force. This is an FBI sponsored task force comprised of agents from the FBI Memphis Division’s Jackson Resident Agency, the Dyersburg Police Department, and the Dyer County Sheriff's Office.
The West Tennessee Violent Crime Task Force focuses on bringing together the combined resources of the Dyer County Sheriff's Office, the Dyersburg Police Department, and the FBI.
“Law abiding citizens throughout West Tennessee are fed up with the distribution of drugs in their communities,” stated United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III. “Our office will not tolerate the unlawful distribution of narcotics, and those that dare to violate federal drug laws will be vigorously prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Gang and drug related violence is a serious threat to our communities, and are threatening small and rural areas more today than ever before,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI. “The FBI will continue to combat these issues through strong partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement via task forces and other relationships to ensure the safety of our communities.”
The case was investigated by the following members of the West Tennessee Violent Crimes Task Force: Special Agents Wes Mayes and Joe Upton, both assigned to the FBI Memphis Division’s Jackson Resident Agency, Sergeant Todd Thayer of the Dyersburg Police Department, and Investigator Chris Gorman of the Dyer County Sheriff's Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Wilson on behalf of the government.
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An indictment is not evidence of guilt. A person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.