TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. — A team of law enforcement agencies came together Tuesday to announce they'd taken down leaders within the crime world, with more to come.
Sparked by a rash of violent crime and drug activity earlier this year, the first phase of Operation Crime Driver led to the federal indictment of six men who operated largely in Tipton and Shelby counties.
“These subjects that were arrested during that time from February to May and now have been indicted here, were driving crime," U.S. Attorney Michael Dunnavant said. "That’s why we called it Operation Crime Driver. They were driving crime by various means, whether it was drugs, gangs or guns.”
These alleged criminals are now staring down sentences from 10 years to 30 years to life beyond bars. Authorities hope that lower level criminals take note of the potentially harsh sentences.
“West Tennessee and rural counties like Tipton County are not a safe haven for you to commit crimes," District Attorney Mark Davidson said. "You will be sought out by law enforcement. You will be targeted, you will be charged, arrested, prosecuted and convicted.”
Tipton County Sheriff JT "Pancho" Chumlee said "the warning is over" for criminals.
“This is gonna be a game-changer, especially in Tipton County. Tipton County doesn’t want this. They’re behind us, they like it. They want the bad stuff out,” Chumlee said.
Operation Crime Driver will continue in the coming months, and authorities expect more arrests of the most dangerous people in Western Tennessee, the people they call trigger pulls and traffickers.
"We hope that it sends a message of hope and confidence to the good guys," Chumlee said. "We’re doing something about it and we have the ability and will to do something in the future.”
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, those arrested were:
- Danny Muex, Jr., 31, of Atoka. On February 20, 2019, he led Tipton County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed pursuit, wrecking his vehicle. As deputies apprehended him, he threw a handgun from the vehicle. At the time, he was on probation in the state of Florida as a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Muex Jr., has been charged in federal court in Memphis with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces up to 120 months in federal prison.
- Ramell Jackson, 23, of Millington. On March 3, 2019, Atoka officers encountered him during a traffic stop and found him in possession of a handgun. At the time, he was under indictment for delivering drugs, and was an admitted drug user. In addition, Jackson was found in possession of ammunition on May 3, 2019, after being convicted of a drug felony. He is currently in state custody awaiting to be arraigned on federal charges. He is charged in federal court in Memphis with possession of a firearm while under felony indictment, possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and being a felon in possession of ammunition. If convicted, Jackson faces up to 120 months in federal prison.
- Marcus Green, 38, of Covington. The former Shelby County Sheriff’s Corrections Deputy, who was on federal supervised release for a prior federal
drug conviction, was found in possession of 1 ½ pounds of marijuana. The U.S. Probation Office filed a petition to revoke Green’s supervised release based upon the marijuana he possessed, and the federal grand jury in Memphis indicted him for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Green pleaded guilty to both the supervised release violation and the substantive charge of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. Green was sentenced to a year and a day in custody for violating his supervised release, and he faces a sentence of up to five years imprisonment on the marijuana charge to which he pleaded guilty.
- Maurice Nash, 46, of Atoka. On May 3, 2019, law enforcement performed a parole check at his residence and found a stolen handgun, $11,579 in cash, 90 pills of ecstasy, a small marijuana grow operation, and Gangster Disciples gang literature. A search of his vehicle produced approximately three pounds of marijuana and a SKS 7.62 assault rifle. Nash has been charged in federal court in Memphis with possession of MDMA (ecstasy) and marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. If convicted and found to be an Armed Career Criminal, Nash faces a possible sentence of 360 months and up to life in federal prison.
- Isca Johnson, 23, of Covington. Later that same day, Tipton County Sheriff deputies smelled marijuana emanating from his apartment. He gave
consent to search, and deputies found marijuana, alprazolam, a loaded handgun, and ammunition. He admitted to owning the items and to being an illicit drug user. Johnson has been charged in federal court in Memphis with possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 120 months in federal prison.
- Jodeci Young, 23, of Covington. He has been charged in federal court in Memphis with possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance on May 3, 2019. If convicted, Young faces up to 120 months in federal prison.