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. 

 


 


Woman's Body Found Floating In Hiwassee River

A woman's body was spotted floating in the Hiwassee River in Polk County on Saturday afternoon. Crews said it appeared the woman had been dead for some time. The 911 call came in shortly before 4:30 p.m.. The TBI was called in to help in the investigation. The body has not yet been identified.. (click for more)

Woman Whose Car Landed On Tracks Below Wilcox Boulevard Viaduct Sues City

A woman whose car went off the Wilcox Boulevard Viaduct and landed on railroad tracks below has sued the city of Chattanooga. Rebecca Thomas-Winkler said the bridge is in poor and substandard condition and the guard rail was inadequate.  The suit says on Aug. 24, 2013, Ms. Winkler was traveling east on Wilcox Boulevard at about 12:30 p.m. She was crossing the bridge that ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Ex-Ooltewah All-American Jacques Smith released By Falcons

Former Ooltewah Owls All-American and Tennessee Vols defensive standout Jacques Smith has been released by the Atlanta Falcons, who are 10 cuts from reaching their 53-man roster for the 2014 season. Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert and tight end Mickey Shuler were also released. Smith, an undrafted free agent, is said to be a "viable candidate" for the Falcons' practice squad ... (click for more)

Baylor Comeback Swamps Webb, 34-7

Baylor lost a fumble on the third play of the game and the visiting Webb Spartans scored five plays later, but the Red Raiders came storming back to win their second-straight game, 34-7, over the D-II, Class A two-time defending state champions. Quarterback Nick Tiano, who has already committed to Mississippi State, hurled two touchdown passes and scored a third on a sneak from ... (click for more)