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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin in Memphis

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee


Memphis, TN – Leon Cooper, 51 has been sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, in late 2015 the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration began an investigation into a group of drug traffickers in Memphis. Their investigation led to several individuals pooling their money together to buy kilograms of heroin from a source of supply in Chicago. The Memphis co-conspirators were arrested on March 5, 2016, with a kilogram of heroin in their possession and sentenced in late 2016.

As the investigation continued, officers and agents identified the drug supplier as a Jeffrey Brooks of Chicago, Illinois, who was charged and convicted as a co-defendant. Cooper was also identified as a member of the conspiracy, who helped the Memphis co-conspirators contact Brooks to request the heroin. The object of the conspiracy was to bring heroin to Memphis and distribute it in small amounts to users and addicts. During the course of the conspiracy, over 15 kilograms of heroin was trafficked between Chicago and Memphis.

On September 29, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr., sentenced Leon Cooper to 120 months in federal prison followed by 5 years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

United States Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "Our nation and our district are suffering from the heroin and opioid epidemic, causing increases in drug trafficking, violence, addiction, and overdose deaths that are tearing our communities apart. We will not tolerate out-of-state poison pushers who threaten West Tennessee citizens for profit.

This Chicago trafficker brought large quantities of heroin into Memphis for resale, and will now reap a long prison sentence for his harmful crimes."

This case was investigated by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Special Assistant Joseph Griffith prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States. This case is part of the Heroin Initiative in collaboration with the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.


Updated September 30, 2020