Judge, Noting That Federal Drug Sentences Are Likely To Be Cut, Gives 3 Whitwell Defendants A Break

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Federal Judge Curtis Collier, saying that he expects Congress to lower sentences for drug defendants, on Thursday gave reduced time to three Whitwell residents involved in a major marijuana operation.

Judge Collier, focusing on "sentencing disparity," said Congress seems headed for passage of the Smarter Sentencing Act. He said it has the endorsement of the Department of Justice and support from senators from different political backgrounds. He also said the federal Sentencing Commission has issued guidelines for reduced drug sentences.

The act would shift the focus to putting away hardcore and violent defendants in federal prisons.

Judge Collier said sponsors of the bill say that under current sentencing all of the Department of Justice budget is going to be eaten up by the cost to operate federal prisons. The act would basically cut drug sentences in half and also increase the use of the "safety valve" to cut time on mandatory sentences.

There was also discussion at the sentencing for Jackie Morrison, Sammy Nance and Ollie Frizzell about some states, including Colorado, legalizing marijuana.

The sentencing range for the ringleader, Morrison, was 121-151 months. He got 72 months.

Nance faced 37-46 months and was given 24 months.

Ms. Frizzell had a sentencing range of 27-33 months and got 30 months. However, she had already gotten a break for cooperating with the government.

Morrison was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and Ms. Frizzell a $2,000 fine.

Morrison went to trial and the jury ordered a $779,000 forfeiture of his property.

Prosecutors said Morrison, 65, made 21 trips to Texas to pick up large quantities of Mexican-grown marijuana. He made up to $1.6 million during about a six-year period, it was stated.

When he was raided, agents found 22 pounds of marijuana along with a set of scales that would weigh up to 15 pounds.

Prosecutor Jay Woods said Morrison made numerous cash deposits to a bank account, but they never exceeded $10,000 so as not to trigger a reporting requirement.

Attorney Jerry Summers said Morrison had an excavating business that accounted for some of his earnings. He said he made many contributions to the community, including digging many grave plots free of charge.

He said, "He would be welcomed back by the vast majority of Whitwell residents."

Attorney Michael Davis said Ms. Frizzell had been threatened on the Topix Internet website, with one poster saying, "She deserves the worst hell" and another writing, "She needs her butt whipped." He said her house was vandalized.

Agents investigating the case included those from the IRS.

 


Lookout Mountain, Ga., Ends With Small Surplus For The Year

City Accountant Paul Johnson told the Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council on Thursday evening that the city was operating with a small surplus for the year with all assets for the 2014 fiscal year at $6.7 million and the liabilities at $2.4 million.     Mr. Johnson noted the purchase of a new police vehicle and several necessary purchases and improvements ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER STEPHEN 6912 GLEN EARL WAY CHATTANOOGA, 37412 34 Collegedale Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) ALLEN, BRANDON TERELL 3010 PEGGY LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) AYALA, JOSE 3938 ARKWRIGHT ST CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: God Bless Cathy & Co.

The secret to the whole thing is not getting caught but somebody at the Toys R Us store in Framingham, Mass., had a camera when Cathy O’Grady was very quietly paying off all the layaway balances at the popular location last week. The picture snaked its way onto social media sites and her friends quickly recognized the area’s most famous “layaway angel.” Then somebody in nearby ... (click for more)

Lewis Leads Silverdale Girls Past Boyd-Buchanan

Thursday   was a day of celebration for the Silverdale Lady Seahawks and junior sharp-shooter Megan Lewis. It took an overtime period, but the home-standing Lady Seahawks pulled out a heart-stopping 45-44 victory over the Lady Bucs in a battle for first place in District 5-A.  Lewis scored the game winner with two seconds to play after scoring her 1,000th point on ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wrestlers Whip Tullahoma, Alcoa

The Cleveland Blue Raiders won a pair of dual meets at Walker Valley Thursday night with a 66-12 romp over Alcoa and a more-competitive 34-28 win over Tullahoma. Walker Valley split with the same two teams, the Mustangs beating Alcoa 42-33 before losing to Tullahoma, 54-18. CLEVELAND 34, TULLAHOMA 28 106 -- Jayce Mullin (C) major dec over Will Moran, 8-0; 113 -- Cody ... (click for more)