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.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, BRIAN PATRICK 7337 VALLEY LANE HIXSON, 37343 45 Hamilton County POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAW VIOLATION IMPROPER PASSING (NO PASSING ZONES) POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA ALLEN, THADDEUS JOEL 3401 CAMPBELL ST #313 CHATTANOOGA, 37406 21 Hamilton County DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Crimestoppers: Robbery At Highway 58 Family Dollar

Crime Stoppers and the Chattanooga Police Department are seeking information on a robbery from a business that occurred at the Family Dollar at 4749 Highway 58 on Oct. 21.  Chattanooga Police need the public's help with the identification of the suspects in the pictures. One suspect was observed through surveillance video entering the store displaying a handgun. Both suspects ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Soccer Advance to A-AA State Semis

MURFREESBORO - Juniors Sofia Olenchek and Emma Higgins scored two goals each to lead Notre Dame to a 4-0 victory against No.14 Spring Hill here Wednesday night in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Quarterfinals at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. The win advances unranked Notre Dame (11-5-4) to the state semis against Jackson Christian Thursday at 5 p.m. EDT. No.6 Jackson Christian ... (click for more)

CCS Soccer Wins 1-0; Advances to State Semis

MURFREESBORO - Freshman striker Olivia Hoffman was in the right place at the right time as her goal in the 26th minute proved to be the match winner as No.25 Chattanooga Christian defeated No. 8 Hume Fogg, 1-0, here Wednesday in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Soccer Quarterfinal at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. "The ball bounced off a couple of players and I was able to put it in ... (click for more)