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Press Release

Jerriod Sivels Sentenced For Conspiracy To Distribute Cocaine And Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee – On March 26, 2021, Jerriod Sivels, also known as Jerriod Lee, 31, of Chattanooga, was sentenced to 142 months in prison by the Honorable Travis R. McDonough, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 

Sivels previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A), and one count of money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(A).

The conviction was the result of an investigation into a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing multiple kilograms of cocaine in the Eastdale and Brainerd communities of Chattanooga.  Sivels was identified as a leader of the organization.

“This prosecution, which has made our community safer, provides an excellent example of the law enforcement successes that can be achieved through federal, state, and local collaboration,” said Acting United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office values the coordinated law enforcement response that dismantled the drug trafficking organization in this case.”

“Today’s announcement should serve as a warning to anyone who seeks to poison our communities with dangerous and illegal drugs,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott, who oversees DEA operations in Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.  “The Drug Enforcement Administration works very closely with our law enforcement partners, like the Chattanooga Police Department, to ensure that criminal drug activity is shut down and those responsible are brought to justice.  We are very grateful to CPD for their on-going cooperation and assistance.”

Chattanooga Chief of Police David Roddy said, "the Chattanooga Police Department is thankful for the partnership we have in the Federal system.  The cooperative impact of our investigators and our Federal Partners has resulted in a prosecution that dismantled an organization, will keep Sivels from continuing to harm our community via drug trafficking, and has made our neighborhoods safer."

This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), the Chattanooga Police Department (“CPD”), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”). The DEA Chattanooga Resident Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) Task Force led the investigation.  THE HIDTA Task Force includes Task Force Officers from CPD, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Red Bank Police Department, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The investigation was 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.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Brown represented the United States. Brown is a Special Assistant City Attorney with the Chattanooga Police Department designated to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute violations of federal firearm and drug laws.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Information Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated March 30, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud