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. 

 


 


3rd Edition Of Popular Stokes Photo Book To Be Issued

With a second edition of the popular Stokes Photo Book selling out, Chattanoogan.com will publish a third edition of 1,000 copies. John Wilson, publisher, said, "We continue to get calls and emails inquiring about the availability of this remarkable Chattanooga photo collection. So we have asked College Printing at Collegedale to put the almost 600-page book back on the presses. ... (click for more)

Fire Damages Vacant Home On Camden Street

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a house fire around  7:30  Sunday morning at 2105 Camden Street. Captain David Brooks with Engine 4 said smoke and flames were visible when they arrived. The firefighters got the fire out fairly quickly. No injuries were reported. Captain Brooks estimated the loss at $15,000. The owner of the house told firefighters that ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Earns State Duals Berth With 45-33 Win

The Notre Dame wrestling team is peaking at the right time. It's been an up and down season for the Fighting Irish and for the first time all year, they have a full lineup. And now they can start making plans for next weekend's State Duals in Franklin after beating East Ridge for the second time in three days. The Irish beat East Ridge by eight points on Thursday night ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestlers Top VMI, 35-3

Highlighted by a victory at 285 pounds in a battle of the unbeatens, Chattanooga defeated visiting VMI, 35-3 Sunday afternoon at Maclellan Gym. In the final match of the day (285), UTC's Jared Johnson (24-6, 4-0) edged Juan Adams (16-10, 4-1), 9-7. Johnson, who has now won eight straight, used two takedowns and a 2-point near fall to lead 6-1 after one period and needed ... (click for more)