32 Charged In Federal Court After Multi-Year Investigation

Monday, November 4, 2013

Officials announced at a press conference Monday that 32 people have been indicted after a multi-year investigation, including some of Chattanooga's "most violent offenders."

Mayor Andy Berke said it was "an important day in our fight to rid the community of violence." 

He gave an example of the prior convictions of one of the men they picked up with multiple assault charges, multiple drug possession charges, and attempted second-degree murder against police charges.

He said, "This will tell individuals in our community associated with violence that this must end. This will end. Today is a good day for Chattanooga." 

Prosecutor Chris Poole said the individuals are charged with dealing in large amounts of cocaine.

He said they face at least 10 years to life in prison. He said some face 20 years to life and others may get mandatory life sentences.

Indictments charge Robert Stephon North, 34, of Chattanooga; Juanzell Jenkins, 37, of Adairsville, Ga.; Joe Jenkins, 40, of Chattanooga; Jumoke Johnson, Jr., 20, of Chattanooga; Shannon D. Mitchell, 29, of Chattanooga; Gerald Toney, 33, of Chattanooga; Dejuan Cooper, 23, of Chattanooga; Guy L. Wilkerson, Jr., 20, of Chattanooga; Rodney Harris II, 22, of Chattanooga; Frank White, 30, of Chattanooga; Valentino Harris, 28, of Chattanooga; Torrey Gilmore, 38, of Chattanooga; Reginald D. Oakley, 39, of Chattanooga; Tommy Ryals, 34, of Atlanta; Juane Joseph, 19, of Chattanooga; Leonita Blackmon, 32, of Chattanooga; LaJeromeny Brown, 35, of Chattanooga; Kenneth Hopkins, 49, of Chattanooga; Kentarius Nealy, 20, of Chattanooga; Idriss Barr, 29, of Chattanooga; Adrian Washington, 36, of Chattanooga; Milo E. Geiger, 36, of Chattanooga; Jerry Wayne Alexander, Jr., 41, of Chattanooga; Johnny Caldwell, Jr., 44, of Chattanooga; Garry Brown, 24, of Chattanooga; Robert Siler, 27, of Chattanooga; and Thaddius L. Humphrey, 32, of Chattanooga, with conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”), and/or five kilograms or more of cocaine.  

Derrick L. Smith, 22, of Chattanooga, is charged with possession of cocaine base (“crack”) with the intent to distribute it.  Donte Taylor, 27, of Chattanooga; Rahmon Christian, 21, of Chattanooga; and Tramale Johnson, 25, of Chattanooga, are charged with being convicted felons in possession of firearms.  Johnson is also charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.  Finally, Stephone L. Reed, 23, of Chattanooga, is charged with car-jacking, brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

The coordinated arrests of these individuals by federal, state and local law enforcement began on Monday morning. The arrested individuals will be appearing in U.S. District Court Monday afternoon and throughout the remainder of the week. 
 
If convicted, the individuals charged with conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”), and/or five kilograms or more of cocaine face a sentence of at least 10 years to life.  Depending on their previous criminal histories, these individuals could face a sentence of 20 years to life or even a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.  If convicted Derrick L. Smith faces up to 20 years in prison.   If convicted Donte Taylor, Rahmon Christian, and Tramale Johnson face at least 0-10 years in prison, and possibly 15 years to life depending on their previous felony convictions.  If convicted Stephone L. Reed faces 0-15 years in prison for carjacking, plus seven years to life for brandishing the firearm during a crime of violence.  Any of these individuals who are convicted would also face a potential fine, restitution, and a period of supervised release.  Sentences in federal court are served without the possibility of parole.
                               
This indictment is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chattanooga Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Red Bank Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poole and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Regalia and Meredith Edwards will represent the United States. 
 


Top City Of Chattanooga Pay

Here is the top pay at the city of Chattanooga: Bean, Russell J       City Judge        $170,537.41 Paty, Sherry B City Judge        $170,537.41 Berke, Andrew L.        Mayor  $154,781.15 Fletcher, Frederick Allen Police Chief     ... (click for more)

Person Shot Thursday Morning On Wilson Street

Chattanooga Police responded to 101 block of W 38th Street on the report of a shooting shortly after 10 Thursday morning. There police located one victim suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The victim reported being shot at the 4800 block of Wilson Street. The victim drove himself from the scene of the incident to the Bethlehem Center at 101 W. 38th Street. There ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (4)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)

Travis Hale New Softball Coach At Soddy-Daisy

(Story will be updated)  Travis Hale, who spent one year under being groomed for the job, has been named the new softball coach at Soddy-Daisy High School. Hale, who previously was an assistant coach at Hixson and head coach at Loftis Middle School, worked as an assistant under Wes Skiles. In a story on May 9, Chattanoogan.com noted that Skiles had told District ... (click for more)

Pensacola Pins Lookouts With 3-0 Shutout Wednesday

PENSACOLA, Fla. -   In his Blue Wahoos Stadium debut, the 21-year-old Tyler Mahle showed he belongs here by throwing five scoreless innings, striking out eight, including four in a row, and pitching his way out of two bases-loaded jams. His poise helped Pensacola win the opener of the five game series against Chattanooga, shutting them out, 3-0, in front of the Blue Wahoos ... (click for more)