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. 
 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest booking report from Hamilton County: AUSTIN, RYAN BISHOP  121 ALBANY STEET CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN WALKER CO, GA) --- BAKER, DONALD SCOTT  2012 LAURA STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)

Mocs Close Out Regular Season At Citadel

The Chattanooga Mocs head to Charleston, S.C., for the regular season finale at The Citadel. They do so with a great deal of certainty for the upcoming Southern Conference Championships in Asheville, N.C.   The Mocs are the fourth seed and face No. 5 Wofford on Saturday, March 4, at 2:30 p.m. The rest of their half of the bracket is determined Monday night. The winner of ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Softball Falls To Saint Louis 5-2 In Frost Classic

 The Chattanooga Mocs softball team fell to Saint Louis, 5-2, on the final day of the annual Frost Classic hosted by UTC at Frost Stadium. The loss drops the Mocs to 5-9 on the season. Chattanooga will head south for the next three weekends as they round out the non-conference tournament slate. The first runs of the game came in the top of the second when SLU scored ... (click for more)