32 Charged In Federal Court After Multi-Year Investigation

Monday, November 04, 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. 
 


Mother Gets 20 Years In Death Of 4-Year-Old Son, Severe Injury To 3-Year-Old

Patricia Brewer was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for the abuse death of her four-year-old son and severe injury of her three-year-old son. She appeared before Judge Rebecca Stern and entered guilty pleas to two counts of aggravated child endangerment. Police said the injuries came after the mother left them alone in the care of her boyfriend, who has a history ... (click for more)

Corker, Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Urge Democratic Republic Of Congo to Act On Adoption Reform

Senator Bob Corker joined Senators John Cornyn (R-Tx.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.) and a bipartisan group of 183 lawmakers in a letter this week urging parliamentary leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to pass adoption reform legislation and resume intercountry adoptions after the country suspended issuance of exit letters last year:   “We are concerned ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

(Story will be updated) After a sluggish first half, Ooltewah’s Owls riddled visiting McMinn County with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in less than six minutes in the third quarter and went on to defeat the Cherokees, 30-12, Thursday night to complete the team’s third undefeated regular season in school history. Leon, who threw for 105 yards in the first half, ... (click for more)

CCS Falls To Knox Catholic In PKs

MURFREESBORO - The defending state champion Knox Catholic was pushed to the limit by Chattanooga Christian here Thursday night, but in the end prevailed on penalty kicks, 9-8, in a semifinal TSSAA Girls State Soccer match at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.  The Charger defenders kept the high scoring Lady Irish  off the scoreboard for 110 minutes of play prior ... (click for more)