14 Suspects Indicted In West Tennessee On
Federal Drug Trafficking Violations
Jackson, TN – 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 an indictment charging 14 suspects with federal drug trafficking violations. The suspects were arrested on Wednesday during a round-up of drug suspects by multiple federal (FBI, DEA, ATF, and USMS), state (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Highway Patrol), and local law enforcement agencies (Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office, Ripley Police Department, Dyer County Sheriff’s Office, Dyersburg Police Department, and Lexington Police Department).
The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Jackson, Tennessee on April 16, 2012, contained counts in violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The suspects arrested during the operation were:
• Kendrick Allen
• Vanesha Keon Allen
• Quentin Teybious Bonds
• Lionel Ray Crawford
• David Lee Fuller
• Seletta Ann Fuller
• Antonio Gause
• Fred Hall III
• Steve Hawthorne Jr.
• Paul B. Haynes
• Vincent Dewalt Latrell
• Decornick Moore
• Hrondy Rogers
• Teddrick Lamar Smith
The charges in the indictment stem from the illegal activity of selling, manufacturing, and distributing cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, as well as selling, distributing and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, and go back as far as November 2011.
Each of the 14 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 three of the suspects were incarcerated at the time of the arrests. At the time of the round up, twelve of the suspects resided in Lauderdale County, Tennessee, one in Dyer County, Tennessee, and one in Missouri.
“The cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies within the district is nothing less than remarkable. Our citizens should be proud of the job that these men and women perform on a daily basis. Today’s arrests are another example of this office’s commitment to working in a collaborative manner to rid this district’s cities and towns of drug related criminal acts, whether they are occurring in urban or rural West Tennessee,” said United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III. “The fight is far from over and we will not rest until the individuals and enterprises who engage in the distribution of illegal narcotics are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and brought to justice.”
“I offer the highest praise to the men and women involved in this operation, whose efforts have struck a blow against drug distribution and drug violence in West Tennessee. These arrests represent the FBI’s pledge to target violent gangs by using Federal resources and cooperating with our Federal, State and Local law enforcement partners. Our combined commitment to target those who engage in the illicit sale of drugs, which often leads to street violence, will hopefully send a signal that we will not stand for our communities and neighborhoods to be taken hostage by these groups, and that we are working to foster safer places to live, work, and play,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case was investigated by members of the West Tennessee Violent Crime Task Force (WTVCTF) and personnel from the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office and Ripley Police Department. The WTVCTF is a 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 WTVCTF focuses on bringing together the combined resources of the FBI, Dyer County Sheriff's Office, the Dyersburg Police Department, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. 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.