Federal Jury Convicts Three Clarksville Men Of Drug And Gun Charges After Three Week Trial
Each Faces Mandatory Life in Prison
Demetrius Duncan a/k/a Whirley, 32, Alto Parnell a/k/a Al-Pistol, 31, and Chris Young a/k/a Soldier C, 25, all of Clarksville, Tennessee, were convicted Friday in U.S. District Court, of operating a drug conspiracy and related firearms charges, after a three week jury trial, announced David Rivera, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The investigation targeted a drug distribution network which operated in and around the Clarksville, Tennessee area and included two murders and numerous armed robberies. To date, the investigation has resulted in charges against 33 individuals, 28 of whom have been convicted. Thirteen defendants have already received lengthy prison sentences and the remaining defendants are awaiting trial or sentencing.
“This was a large scale drug conspiracy which required substantial resources and court-authorized wiretaps to dismantle,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Rivera. “Each of these convicted defendants has multiple prior, felony drug convictions and previous prosecutions and sentences obviously did not deter them from continuing to harm the community. The jury’s verdict should now insure that they will never have another opportunity to return to the community to engage in their usual criminal enterprise.”
During the trial, the government introduced evidence, including wiretapped telephone conversations, which showed that Duncan, Parnell and Young were part of a larger drug distribution conspiracy and had distributed substantial amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Clarksville area, including near public housing developments.
Other evidence introduced at trial, showed that during one drug deal, Chris Young had a loaded firearm in his possession and also had $10,000 cash as he attempted to take delivery of cocaine near a school in Clarksville, Tenn. When agents later executed a search warrant at the home of Demetrius Duncan, they found him attempting to flush cocaine and marijuana down the toilet. Firearms were also found in the home. Young and Duncan both have multiple prior felony convictions and were also convicted of being convicted felons in possession of firearms.
Proof introduced against Alto Parnell included recorded conversations between him and Brian Vance, a Clarksville Vice Lord gang leader, discussing the fact that they were going to provide drugs to younger gang members to sell, and discussing how poorly the gang members would fare if Parnell and Vance were to be arrested. Vance previously pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and conspiracy to commit armed robbery and is pending sentencing.
The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Clarksville Police Department, with assistance from other local and federal agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sunny A.M. Koshy and Lynne Ingram represented the United States.
All defendants currently awaiting trial are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.