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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chattanooga Man Sentenced To Serve 150 Months For Crack Cocaine Conspiracy Spanning From Chattanooga To Johnson City

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On July 21, 2014, Garry Lee Brown, 25, of Chattanooga, Tenn., was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 150 months in federal prison, for his conviction of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Beginning in 2011, law enforcement began investigating a large-scale crack cocaine conspiracy originating out of Chattanooga. As part of the conspiracy, they discovered that numerous individuals, including Brown, were trafficking multi-ounce quantities of crack cocaine to Johnson City for resale. Private vehicles, taxi cabs, and public transportation were commonly used to transport the drugs. Many of the co-conspirators, including Brown, had ties to street gangs based in Chattanooga, including the Rollin’ 60’s Crips and Woodlawn Crips. Upon arrival in Johnson City, Brown and others would distribute their drugs, return to Chattanooga with their drug sale proceeds, purchase additional drugs, and repeat the cycle.

As part of the investigation, law enforcement agents conducted a series of controlled drug transactions with Brown and other co-conspirators. On three separate occasions, Brown sold crack cocaine to confidential informants acting under the supervision of agents and officers. In total, the conspiracy involved kilogram quantities of crack cocaine. Three of Brown’s co-conspirators remain to be sentenced in Greeneville. Numerous others are being prosecuted in Chattanooga.

This long term investigation was the product of a partnership between the Johnson City, Tennessee Police Department; Chattanooga, Tennessee Police Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Drug Enforcement Administration. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Regalia represented the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

This case was also a result of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Updated March 18, 2015