Jackson, TN – Twenty-one people in western Tennessee are facing federal charges for their involvement in an organized drug trafficking scheme, according to recently unsealed indictments. U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz for the Western District of Tennessee announced the unsealing of the indictments today.
The charges are the culmination of a yearlong investigation by FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—in conjunction with the Selmer Police Department, Bolivar Police Department, Lexington Police Department, and the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office.
“Western Tennessee will not be a haven for traffickers, organized criminal enterprises, and others who would bring illegal drugs and firearms into our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Ritz. “We plan to use every tool at our disposal – including our close partnerships with local law enforcement – to root out traffickers and restore safety. I commend the investigative efforts of our law enforcement partners in bringing this important and impactful case.”
"This collaborative effort reflects the commitment of law enforcement agencies to safeguard our communities from the adverse effects of drug trafficking,” said Bolivar Police Department Chief Mike Jones. “We stand united in our dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents of Bolivar and Western Tennessee.”
“Fentanyl is a major priority for law enforcement across the country,” said Selmer Police Department Chief Kim Holley. “We are thankful to have a partnership with our federal counterparts who help stop these dangerous drugs from getting into our community and hold those accountable who are responsible for distributing these dangerous drugs.”
According to court documents, between June 2021 and February 2023, the defendants are alleged to have worked together and with others to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and marijuana throughout several counties. During the investigation, agents seized 16 firearms, $17,000 in cash, approximately 16,000 fentanyl pills, 15 pounds of methamphetamine, and approximately four pounds of marijuana.
The charges announced today span two criminal indictments. On February 13, 2023, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 15 defendants with conspiracy to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine and marijuana:
That same indictment charged Jarrett Wilson, Cordarvin McNeal, and Joshua Fields with possession of firearms in connection with the drug trafficking charges.
On August 14, 2023, a federal grand jury returned another indictment charging six additional defendants with similar drug trafficking and firearms offences:
If convicted, the defendants charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana face up to 5 years imprisonment. The defendants charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years imprisonment up to life. Cordarvin McNeal, the individual charged with possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, faces a sentence of 5 years to life imprisonment. Joshua Fields faces a penalty of 25 years to life in prison because of enhanced sentencing for the distribution of fentanyl.
This investigation was conducted as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence. Each charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and convicted through due process of law.
Assistant United States Attorney Christie Hopper is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.