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Press Release

Lauderdale County Man Sentenced to 9 Years For Illegally Possessing Firearms During a Drug Trafficking Crime

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

Memphis, TN – James Deshawn Whitelow, 24, has been sentenced to 108 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, on January 31, 2019, Whitelow, who had a warrant for his arrest for attempted murder, was located at a residence in Ripley, Tennessee. The resident allowed law enforcement to enter the home and search the premises. Whitelow was found near a common-area bathroom.

Officers recovered two handguns, a stolen Walther PPS and a Glock 23 with a large capacity magazine. 252 grams of marijuana packaged for resale were found in the toilet tank of the common bathroom. A safe was found in a bedroom with a 50 round drum magazine inside.

The witnesses said Whitelow ran into the bathroom prior to law enforcement entering the home. They further stated Whitelow is known to have guns and to be involved in shootings.

On February 6, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Jon P. McCalla sentenced Whitelow to 108 months in federal prison followed by 3 years supervised release.

U.S. Attorney D, Michael Dunavant said, "This felon was clearly a dangerous offender, and was wanted for attempted murder when he was found in possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. Mr. Whitelow has sowed lawlessness by committing violent and drug crimes, and he will now reap the much deserved consequences of his actions. This sentence removing him from the community for 9 years will make Lauderdale County and West Tennessee a safer place."

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Ripley Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated this case.

Special Assistant Sean G. Hord prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Hord is currently assigned from the 25th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.



Cherri Green
Public Affairs
(901) 544-4231

Updated February 11, 2020