Young Atlanta Drug Dealer Given 19 Years, 7 Months

Friday, July 18, 2008

A young Atlanta drug dealer, who Federal Judge Allan Edgar said was the main supplier for a drug ring based in the Cookeville, Tn., area, was sentenced Thursday to 19 years and seven months in prison.

Attorneys had argued that Kirk Spence was not really the leader in the drug conspiracy. "He couldn't lead a two-horse funeral," attorney Edward Furr Jr. of Decatur, Ga., said.

But Judge Edgar said during the trial he conducted that the contact person in Atlanta was always Spence.

Prosecutors said he supplied over 100 kilos of crack cocaine from Atlanta to the Upper Cumberland from January 2006 until he and 15 others were arrested in January 2007.

Attorney Furr said, "You have a real, soft, sweet, gullible human being here. He got on for the ride, but it was a lot faster ride than he was prepared to take."

He said Spence never made much money off the large-scale drug trafficking, but some in Tennessee "lived high on the hog for an awfully long time."

Spence would have faced a much stiffer sentence had he had a criminal record.

Also Thursday, Judge Edgar sentenced a ringleader in the operation, Joshua "Tubby" Smith to 31 years and eight months.

John Paul Hassler of Cookeville got 18 years and six months, and Brian Maldonado of Crossville was sentenced to serve 15 years and eight months.

In sentencings on Wednesday, Dawn Polites of Cookeville got 33 months and Samantha Renee Reynolds of Cookeville was placed on probation. Grayland Darty and Larry Mahan Jr., both of Cookeville, each got five years. Michael Van Pelt of Baxter, Tn., received six months. Chad Greenwood of Knoxville got 35 months.

Brian Matheny and Richard Kontour, both of Cookeville, received 10-year terms. James Eldridge of Crossville was given 37 months.

Michael V. Smith got a 10-year term, and Anthony Price must do 37 months.

The two-year investigation was conducted by agents from TBI, the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force, the HIDTA Task Force, and Cookeville Police CNET officers.

Two defendants went to trial and the rest pleaded guilty.

Michael V. Smith and Joshua Smith, who are not related, went to trial before Judge Edgar and were convicted on April 25.

Agents said the probe centered on a clothing store “Urban Unlimited” located on West Jackson Street in Cookeville. Agents said the store, owned by Maldonado, was a front for the drug sales.


DesJarlais Announces Support For American Health Care Act

Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., a member of the House Freedom Caucus and GOP Doctors Caucus, announced his support for the American Health Care Act, Republicans’ Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, now including waivers for states to opt out of expensive federal regulations, driving up the cost of health insurance in Tennessee.   Rep. DesJarlais said, " ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: HUMPHERY, JOE JUNIOR B 39 M 0 1 GS 1653765 POSS OF COCAINE FOR RESALE HYMES, RODNEY DEWAYNE B 49 M 0 1 GS 1650788 AGGRAVATED ASSAULT HYMES, RODNEY DEWAYNE B 49 M 0 2 GS 1650790 POSS. COCAINE FOR RESALE HYMES, RODNEY DEWAYNE B 49 M 0 3 GS 1650791 POSS. MARIHUANA FOR RESALE ... (click for more)

Don't Clog Up The Last Remaining Semi-Unobstructed Route Into Town From North Of The River - And Response (2)

The proposal to turn Hixson Pike in Riverview into a more pedestrian friendly street is more than absurd.   Let's be honest. This is the last semi-unobstructed route into town from north of the river, due to I-27 construction and the bike lane/parking lot that is North Market Street.  So, now the businesses in Riverview would like parking on this main artery? ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A One-Sided Opportunity

State education commissioner Candace McQueen has apparently fallen and hit her head. She most certainly needs to be examined after she came to Chattanooga on Monday and told the Times-Free Press about an exciting “partnership.” Are you kidding me? Despite the newspaper’s editors actually touting the venture as “promising,” the lady is clearly dancing by herself. With her Achievement ... (click for more)

Sales' Grand Slam Leads Lady Owls To 6-2 Comeback Win

Cheyenne Sales came close to hitting two home runs on Tuesday. She atoned for those close calls a day later with a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning and powered Ooltewah to a 6-2 victory over gritty East Hamilton in District 5-3A softball action at Jim Lovell Field. “That’s the first grand slam I’ve hit this season,” said Sales, who finished with five RBIs. “The pitch ... (click for more)

Red Bank's Kendall Farr Hurls No-Hitter Against Tyner

Kendall Farr was on the money Wednesday afternoon as she hurled a no-hitter and struck out seven as the Red Bank Lionettes blanked Tyner, 10-0, in six innings. Kelsey Peden and Destiny Painter both had two RBIs for the Lionettes while Hannah Wood had a triple and Sami Shrader a double.  Peden also had a double. With Farr improving to 3-2 on the season,, Red Bank finished ... (click for more)