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Press Release

Federal Charges Result From Weekend Undercover Operation In Downtown Entertainment District

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee
Metro Police Anti-Fentanyl Initiative Nets Multi-Convicted Felon

NASHVILLE – A Nashville, Tennessee man is facing federal drug distribution and firearms charges, as a result of an undercover operation last weekend in the downtown entertainment district, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin.

Khalil D. Smith, 26, was charged today, in a criminal complaint, with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. 

According to the complaint, on Friday night, members of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Specialized Investigation Division were conducting an undercover operation in the downtown entertainment district with the aim of identifying persons buying and selling illegal narcotics in the Broadway area.  This operation was conducted in response to an increase in the number of people overdosing in that area after ingesting fentanyl.

After seeing an individual snorting cocaine, detectives arranged to purchase a “ball” of cocaine from the individual’s source.  A short time later, the individual returned with Smith and another person.  Smith approached the detectives and directed them to a business on 4th Avenue South, where Smith exchanged a bag of white powder for $200.  Officers then attempted to arrest Smith, at which point he fled on foot.  After a foot pursuit, MNPD officers took Smith into custody.  The powder tested positive for fentanyl.

At the time of Smith’s arrest, he was in possession of multiple plastic bags containing a total of approximately 11 grams of fentanyl; a bag containing approximately 6 grams of cocaine; a bag containing approximately 21 grams of marijuana; a bag containing 23 full Xanax bars and multiple partial pieces of Xanax bars; as well as a 9mm Beretta semiautomatic handgun, which was loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition.

Smith was found to have been previously convicted of multiple felonies in Davidson County and Rutherford County, Tennessee.

If convicted, Smith faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, and up to life in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McGuire is prosecuting the case. 

The charges are merely accusations.  Smith is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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David Boling
Public Affairs Officer

Updated May 26, 2022

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