Chattanooga Man Caught With 20 Pounds Of Marijuana, $61,205 Gets 7-Year Federal Prison Sentence

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Chattanooga man caught with 20 pounds of marijuana and $61,205 in cash was sent away on Thursday to serve seven years in federal prison.

Eric James told Judge Curtis Collier it was the first time he had been locked up. He said he "had gotten caught up with the wrong person." James had told police he was fronted the large amount of illegal drugs by a former federal inmate.

Judge Collier noted that James had not worked since he drove a cab five years ago.

Attorney Graham Swafford said he had told James that if he gets into trouble again after getting out of prison "cars will be flying before you get out again."

The attorney also said, in arguing for leniency, that "it costs more to incarcerate someone for this type of offense as it does to go to flight school, law school or McCallie."

Judge Collier said it is not typical for someone to have $61,205 with them, saying that excluded everyone in the courtroom except perhaps attorney Swafford.

James was arrested July 3, 2011, by the ATF and Chattanooga Police. He told officers that if two black males had come after him he would have shot them. He said he had earlier been robbed by two black males dressed as police officers. James had two guns on him when he was caught. That brought a mandatory five-year sentence in addition to the other time.


26,228 Cast Ballots In First 5 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first five days of early voting in Hamilton County, 26,228 have already cast ballots. That includes 2,200 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011, and it was 3,818 on Saturday. The turnout on Monday was 5,552. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030, 816 ... (click for more)

John Wilson To Autograph New Hiener Photo Book Of Historic Chattanooga On Tuesday At Zarzour's

John Wilson, publisher of, will autograph the new historic photo book being published by on Tuesday at Zarzour's Restaurant from noon until 2 p.m. Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga Photos features a wide range of interesting old Chattanooga pictures ranging from the Civil War to local personalities. Mr. Hiener, a longtime Chattanooga printer ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Southerners Sing

Barry Norris plays the organ at Birmingham’s East Lake United Methodist Church and two days ago the church hosted what we used to call “A Singing on the Grounds.” Today it is called a “Hymnfest” and, believe it or not, it is has to be just as fun today as it was 100 years ago when our forefathers tied their horse and wagon to a tree. It just so happens I know a little bit about ... (click for more)

After Productive Open Week, Vols Eye Gamecocks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee football coach Butch Jones, Josh Malone, Colton Jumper, Ethan Wolf and Emmanuel Moseley spoke to reporters at a weekly press conference. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) is coming off of its bye week and next face South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium with a 7:15 p.m. ET broadcast on ESPN2. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)