Chattanooga Man With 23 Felonies Gets 15 Years In Federal Prison

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Chattanooga man who prosecutors say has 40 prior convictions, including 23 felonies, was sentenced on Thursday to 15 years in federal prison.

Darien Houston, 43, appeared before Judge Curtis Collier.

Prosecutor Chris Poole had asked for the high end of the range - 220 months, saying Houston is a member of the Vice Lords gang. He said the felonies include burglary, possession of cocaine for resale, possession of marijuana for resale, felony escape, forgery, theft of property and concealing stolen property, among others.

Houston said he wanted to withdraw his earlier guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a weapon, but the judge would not allow it.

After his federal arrest, Houston met guidelines of being an armed career criminal. That carries a minimum of 15 years.

On May 31, 2012, the Chattanooga Police Department arrested Houston after a search warrant was executed at his residence. The search revealed approximately seven grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a pistol magazine with .45 caliber ammunition, and a Smith & Wesson 38 Special caliber revolver. 

Houston initially denied having any knowledge of the revolver but later consented to an interview. Houston admitted to knowing the revolver was in the residence and handling it.

His prior felony convictions include two counts of possession of cocaine for resale, second-degree burglary, escape, possession of marijuana for resale, reckless endangerment, concealing stolen property, forgery and theft of property.

In 2006, police were called to North Hickory Street after Jeri Houston said her ex-husband, Darien Houston, was back bothering her again. She said this time he broke out her two bedroom windows and slashed two of her tires.

An officer said while he was interviewing Ms. Houston, Darien Houston called twice. While getting warrants against him, Ms. Houston called and said he was back. Officers went to the scene and spotted him, then gave chase. He kept running and jumping over fences, but was finally caught and charged.

At the time it was also found he had outstanding warrants for aggravated burglary, theft over $500 and vandalism. 

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian praised the efforts of the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. 

He said, “Thanks to their dedication and cooperation, a career criminal will serve a lengthy sentence in federal prison."

ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fulton said, “The success of this investigation is a result of the collaborative efforts of ATF and our local partners. This investigation is more evidence that ATF's commitment to combating violent crime is unwavering. ATF's Frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities a safer place to live."
 
Agencies involved in the investigation which led to the indictment and conviction of Houston included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Chattanooga Police Department. 

 


 


Residents Call For A Public Meeting On Wilcox Tunnel

The North Brainerd Community Council, a neighborhood community council made up of 11 neighborhood presidents within the Eastdale/ North Brainerd communities, hosted a city wide community forum at the Eastdale Youth and Family Development Center.  During this forum, residents addressed a number of citywide concerns to include crime, economic development, prescription drug, tobacco, ... (click for more)

Former Newport Police Detective Captain Goes To Prison For Distributing Controlled Substances

James Finley Holt, 59, of Cosby, Tenn., was sentenced Monday to serve 90 months in prison by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge.  Holt pleaded guilty to an information charging him with distribution of controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The conviction of Holt was the result of an undercover investigation, ... (click for more)

When Black Friday Comes

So it’s Thanksgiving morning. You stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom to pee. Push the handle and away it goes (where does it go, anyway?) Better head to the kitchen and get the coffee on. While it’s brewing maybe a hot shower – love that gas water heater, I mean, it heats the water, and lots of it. Now time to enjoy a cup o’ joe and some breakfast while catching up with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UVa --Time For Change

The University of Virginia is, by any measure, one of the finest universities in the world. I have long admired it, whether covering dozens of sports events, cavorting with countless friends, or benefitting repeatedly from the surgical skills of the late world-class humanitarian Frank McCue. But today there is a terrible pall over “Mr. Jefferson’s university” – no, make that a ... (click for more)

Vols' Jones: Vanderbilt will Present Various Challenges

Tennessee coach Butch Jones held his weekly press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium, discussing last week's loss to Missouri and Saturday's critical SEC game at Vanderbilt. The Vols (5-6, 2-5 SEC) must beat the Commodores (3-8, 0-7) to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. The transcript: Head Coach Butch Jones (Opening Statement) "Quick recap ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)