In the fall of 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revitalized the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, a national-scale violent crime reduction program aimed at making our communities safer and more secure. The enhanced PSN program builds on past successes by integrating proven methods of reducing violent crime with new strategies and technology that will make the Department's efforts more efficient and effective.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee works with local, state and federal partners, including the ATF, FBI, DEA, ICE, U.S. Marshal’s Service, TBI, and local sheriff’s offices and police departments to target, investigate, and prosecute the most violent firearms offenders. Outreach, education, and training programs are also part of the program to increase public awareness and to deter violent offenders from continuing to engage in firearms offenses.
Some of the recent prosecutions brought through the PSN are highlighted below.
On February 8, 2021, Lyle Vernon Tarlton, 30, of Telford, was sentenced for possessing a firearm after having been convicted of an offense punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year. Tarlton was sentenced to 63 month’s imprisonment followed by three years on supervised release.
On April 22, 2021, DeShawn Whited, 23, of Knoxville, was arraigned before the Honorable Judge Debra C. Poplin, United States Magistrate Judge, in the Eastern District of Tennessee, for six counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of carjacking, seven counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
Back in 2017, DTF made a controlled purchase of 16.18 grams of methamphetamine from Kaywood and a co-defendant. Kaywood arrived at the controlled buy in possession of a handgun. In 2018, the Kingsport Police Department arrested two of Kaywood’s co-defendants who were in possession of 39.94 grams of methamphetamine, and a firearm. On June 12, 2020, David Lynn Kaywood, Jr., 42, currently of Greeneville, was sentence for those crimes.
- Following the conviction on October 2, 2020, Larry W. Hutchins, 37, of Kingsport, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his participation in the distribution of methamphetamine and the possession of firearms. On March 28, 2018, Kingsport Police Officers encountered the defendant at Model City Apartments. The defendant, an armed career criminal, was in possession of two loaded firearms. On June 10, 2018, Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call for service by a citizen. Upon arrival, the deputy found the defendant standing in the roadway near the house. The deputy was aware that the defendant had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. During a search of the defendant, the deputy located more than 10 grams of methamphetamine, which was packaged individually for resale.