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Press Release

Decatur County Man Sentenced for Resisting Arrest by a Federal Officer

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


Jackson, TN- Anthony Ray Phoenix, 37, of Decatur County, has been sentenced to 100 months in federal prison for resisting arrest by a federal officer. Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., United States Attorney, announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, in November of 2019, officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service in locating and apprehending Anthony Ray Phoenix on active warrants for fleeing from patrolmen. Additionally, the Marshals determined Phoenix was wanted for a Tennessee State Probation violation, assault, and battery in Kentucky, resisting arrest in Texas, and a probation violation in Idaho. Phoenix was known to be affiliated with the Aryan Nation Gang as well.

On December 2, 2019, members of the United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with local law enforcement and special agents of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, located Phoenix at a residence in Decatur County, Tennessee. Upon approach, Phoenix was observed in a white Ford Expedition parked outside of the residence.

Phoenix fled from law enforcement officers through the backyard, a barbed-wire fence, and down a road at a high rate of speed before turning around and heading back through the same backyard towards the residence. Phoenix continued traveling at a high rate of speed, through another fence, into the original backyard and directly toward a Deputy U.S. Marshal and a Special Agent with the Tennessee Department of Corrections. With a fence to the Deputies’ right and the residence behind, the Deputy Marshal had no way to escape and in fear for his safety, fired his weapon in the direction of the vehicle.

Phoenix was subsequently taken into custody; all parties were uninjured. While interviewed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agents, Phoenix admitted knowing law enforcement officers were pursing him, as he attempted to evade arrest.

On January 25, 2022, Phoenix pled guilty.

At sentencing, the Government sought, and the Court found, an increase in sentence because Phoenix created a substantial risk of bodily injury by driving his vehicle towards the Deputy Marshal and the TDOC Special Agent to evade apprehension by fleeing.

On May 9, 2022, Chief United States District Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Phoenix to 100 months incarceration with three years of supervised release to follow. There is no parole in the federal system.

"Law enforcement are public servants that place their lives on the line every day, enforcing laws throughout our communities. Sadly, physical danger is part of what it means to wear a badge. But trying to hurt a Deputy United States Marshal has serious consequences. We are glad our Deputy Marshal wasn’t seriously injured, and this case has concluded," said United States Marshal Tyreece Miller.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, Tennessee Department of Correction, Decatur County Sheriff's Department, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Christie Hopper prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.


Updated May 17, 2022