Sixteen charged in Tipton County crime bust

TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. — Authorities announced a major crime sweep in Tipton County on Friday.

The Operation Crime Driver raid took place mostly in Tipton County, involving nine different agencies with more than 220 felons as targets as law enforcement conducted warrant searches and probation checks.

Sixteen people were arrested or charged, according to Tipton County authorities, including at least one violent gang-member investigators say they found with a large amount of marijuana and a high-powered weapon. One of them was a former Shelby County jailer. More than 100 citations were written by THP.

WREG’s Shay Arthur rode along with Tipton County Sheriff J.T Pancho Chumley, who said the sweep was necessary.

Early Friday morning, before the sun came up, law enforcement spread out from Ripley, Tennessee to Bartlett.

"There were multiple shots fired here in Covington with multiple rounds and four people were hit and at the same time the homes," Chumley said.

"We said enough is enough. We’re gonna start this operation and hopefully get some relief to the good people that want their good lives taken care of.”

Along with Tipton County deputies, teams from Shelby County, ATF, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Marshal’s office took part in the operation.

They were checking up on people on parole and checking on warrants.

One of the homes where two suspects were taken into custody was actually shot up last summer. You can still see where a bullet went through the house.

District Attorney General Mark Davidson said, after recent shootings, one with more than 100 rounds fired, they’re doing what they can to be proactive.

Not just those who might be breaking the law, but the public too.

"It does take a lot of effort and a lot of organization and manpower to run an operation like this, but it’s worth it because I think it gives the public a boost of confidence that we’re being proactive," he said.

We were there as 45-year-old Maurice Nash was taken into the Tipton County Jail after his Atoka home was raided. Investigators say they found an assault rifle in the home, along with a significant amount of cash, marijuana and ecstasy pills.

"He’s a convicted felon and somebody we’ve dealt with before,” District Attorney Mark Davidson said.

His record showed violent cases going back to the early '90s.

Also picked up was 37-year-old Marcus Greene, a former Shelby County jailer now on the wrong side of the law.

He was in trouble again after investigators say they found him with a large amount of marijuana he intended to sell.

“I think sometimes people believe they’ll come out into the more rural parts like Tipton County here and figure, 'OK, we can do this and get by with it,'” Chumley said.  “When the gangs start, the drugs start, the guns start.”

It’s people like 77-year-old Mildred Williamson who feel the ripple effects of crime that law enforcement believes are driven by gangs.

She lost her son to violence — the great-grandmother was in her kitchen just months ago when a house a few doors down was shot up.

"That was real scary," she said.

Seeing officers throughout the day Friday brings her some comfort.

"I was sitting out here this morning. I said, ‘Oh Lord, they raiding,’" Williamson said. "I hope they got a lot of peoples."

But she believes there's still more to be done.

Officials there agree. They said they believe more arrests will come.

They were initially targeting more than 200 people. While they made 16 arrests, they still called the operation a success and hope to do another of the same scale soon.

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