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Press Release

Nashville Heroin Distributor Sentenced to 30 Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee
Chicago to Nashville Heroin Pipeline Shut Down

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 14, 2019 – Brandon Bradford, 40, of North Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to 30 years in prison for conspiring to distribute  a kilogram or more of heroin, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Bradford was convicted by a federal jury in November 2018, following a four-day trial.

Bradford, along with Terrell Pierson, aka, Tank, 33, and Justin Joplin, aka, Fat Boy, 35, both from the Chicago area, and Krystin Pape, 33, of Nashville, were indicted in May 2016 and later pleaded guilty.  Pierson and Joplin were previously sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and Pape will be sentenced next week. 

“I commend our prosecution team and our law enforcement partners at the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the FBI for working to build a strong case and disrupt the supply of heroin coming to our community,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran.  “This case is just one of many that these dedicated individuals undertake on a daily basis and I’m grateful for their commitment to do all they can to make Nashville and Middle Tennessee a safer place.”

The prosecution arose out of an investigation into heroin trafficking by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department’s Gang Unit and the FBI in 2015, which identified Brandon Bradford as a heroin supplier who was obtaining large quantities of heroin from the Chicago, Illinois area.  Bradford conspired with several others, including Pape, Pierson and Joplin, to obtain multiple kilograms of heroin from the Chicago area on a regular basis and to distribute that heroin in the Nashville area from around September of 2014 through April 20, 2016.  Based on the evidence at trial, Bradford was conservatively responsible for more than 18 kilograms of heroin that were sold on the streets of Nashville.

The evidence at trial revealed that the amounts transported from the Chicago area for distribution in Nashville during the conspiracy ranged from approximately 50-100 grams and increased quickly to kilogram quantities as the conspiracy progressed.  As the operation grew larger, Bradford directed Pierson and Joplin, his half-brother, to move from the Chicago area to Nashville to assist him in running the operation, along with Pape.  Bradford and they shared a residence in the Bellevue area of Nashville where they frequently repackaged and prepared heroin for delivery to customers in Nashville.  Bradford, as the leader of the operation, determined the pricing for the heroin and controlled the money.

Pape and Joplin were arrested when a search warrant was executed at the residence on Stacy Drive, on April 20, 2016, and Pierson was arrested shortly thereafter.  Bradford was arrested 15 months later, in August 2017, at a hotel in New Albany, Indiana, after being actively sought by law enforcement.  At the time of his arrest, Bradford was in possession of more than 300 grams of heroin.

“This sentencing is the culmination of a collective effort between federal and local law enforcement to combat heroin trafficking in our community," said Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation M. A. Myers. "We will continue to be relentless in our mission to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations and bring the criminals who run them to justice.”

“MNPD officers and our federal partners are so serious about interdicting heroin and holding traffickers accountable because people are dying,” Chief Steve Anderson said.  “Nearly four times as many persons died in Nashville last year from drug overdoses than from the crime of murder.  I am grateful for the relationship we share with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other federal law enforcement agencies as we investigate cases like this.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip H. Wehby and Brooke K.  Schiferle.

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David Boling
Public Information Officer

Updated June 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking