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.

 


Keith Carter Was Man Shot In Knee On W. 38th Street; Still Won't Cooperate With Police

The man shot at 262 West 38 th St., on Monday afternoon was 22-year-old Keith Carter. He continues to be uncooperative with Investigators. Carter was shot in the knee. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he received treatment for the non-life threatening injury.    Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call ... (click for more)

Skillern Designates $100,000 Of Discretionary Funds For New Road To Daisy Elementary

County Commissioner Fred Skillern has designated $100,000 of his district discretionary funds for a new road to Daisy Elementary School. The road will be built from Sequoyah Road. The county schools will contribute $200,000 to the $300,000 project. Officials said Commissioner Skillern, who is leaving the commission at the end of this month after a long tenure on the school ... (click for more)

Thankful For Senators Alexander And Corker's Support Of The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Fleet - And Response (2)

America’s national security at home and abroad is important to all of us.  So it is very important to recognize and thank our leaders when they show strong support for our military. That’s why I am writing to thank Senators Alexander and Corker for their continued commitment to our great state, our nation, and especially to our military.  Their support ensures that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scottsboro’s Pat Trammell

I got a warm feeling Tuesday when it was announced Pat Trammell will be among those in the inaugural class of the Jackson County (Ala.) Sports Hall of Fame. When the august group is enshrined at Scottsboro’s Goose Pond Civic Center on Nov. 1, most folks won’t even know who Pat Trammell was but I knew all about him in my very first year as a fledgling sports writer back in 1967 and, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club National Championship Match Can Be Viewed Via EPB Fiber Optics

EPB Fiber Optics is offering the community exclusive live broadcast coverage of the Chattanooga Football Club in its final battle for the National Premier Soccer League National Championship. The game between the Chattanooga FC and the New York Red Bulls-Under 23 squad is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 p.m. from the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Fi TV Bronze, Silver ... (click for more)

Stars Shutout Lookouts Tuesday, 2-0

Huntsville, AL-Huntsville native Jed Bradley did it all Tuesday night for the Huntsville Stars.  He pitched six shutout innings and also provided the only offense in a 2-0 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville. Recap Bradley, broke up the scoreless game in the fifth as he was locked up in a terrific pitcher's duel with Chattanooga lefty ... (click for more)