Wayne County News reports:           

 

            Indictments were returned by a federal grand jury in Jackson on Jan. 21, but remained under seal until the Jan. 28 arrests of 14 suspects with charges stemming from selling, manufacturing, and distributing crystal methamphetamine, as well as possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

            Pieces of information surfaced months ago in Wayne County leading to activity in Hardin County.  Surveillance confirmed information and Wayne County then notified the FBI and TBI, who worked with Sheriff Ric Wilson, Chief Deputy Gerald Baer and Investigator Charles Mosely.  A search warrant was issued for Richard Alley, one of the recently arrested that turned up drugs, over 40 guns, and stolen property.  Continued investigation found involvement from Wayne, Henderson, Decatur, and Hardin counties in Tennessee, as well as Tarrant County, Texas and all the way to Mexico.

            Tidbits of knowledge began to surface as long as 2 years ago through various arrests and informant information. Recently, authorities stumbled onto things that started to put all the pieces together.  After a lot of hard work, a plan was put together and 100% of the indicted were arrested at 6 a.m. last Tuesday from here to Mexico.  The round up substantially slowed down the availability of crystal meth to the area and is probably the greatest major step in the war on drugs in Wayne County since the arrest of Jerry Roberts in 2006 for possession of 6 lbs. of meth.

            There is no connection between the round up in Wayne County on Jan. 18, 2014 and the FBI arrests on Jan, 28, 2014.

           

The suspects arrested during the operation were:

• Richard Alley, 40, of Hardin County
• Scotty Alley, 41, of Wayne County
• Sherill Douglas, 43, of Henderson County
• Steven Flowers, 41, of Henderson County
• Brandon Frazier, 35, of Wayne County
• Sherry Gilbert, 36, of Henderson County
• Bryant Hart, 43, of Decatur County
• Carol Ann Lee, 38, of Wayne County
• Jamie Pearson, 34, of Henderson County
• Kelvin Pettigrew, 38, of Henderson County
• Bartee Rich, 36, of Hardin County
• Diana Williams, 42, of Hardin County
• Emanuel Lopez, 24, of Tarrant County (Texas)
• Francisco Lopez, 28, (Already In Federal Custody)

            During the course of this investigation, law enforcement officials have seized illicit narcotics, including at least 550 grams of methamphetamine, U.S. currency, drug paraphernalia, and at least 70 firearms, which included both handguns and long guns.
            Law enforcement agencies participating in the round-up include the FBI, the United States Marshals Service, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Dyer County Sheriff’s Department, Dyersburg Police Department, Henderson County Sheriff’s Department, Jackson Police Department, Lexington Police Department, and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.
            The case was investigated by members of the FBI’s Memphis Safe Streets Task Force (ME SSTF), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force. The ME SSTF is a FBI sponsored task force comprised of agents from the FBI Memphis Division’s Jackson Resident Agency, the Dyer County Sheriff’s Department, the Dyersburg Police Department, the Jackson Police Department, and the Lexington Police Department. The ME SSTF focuses on bringing together the combined resources of the FBI and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to address violent criminal threats.