Rossville Man Pleads Guilty In Laundering Bribe Payments From Afghanistan

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Two individuals, including a Rossville man, have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to launder approximately $250,000 in bribes received from Afghan contractors in Afghanistan.

Jimmy W. Dennis, 44, formerly of Clarksville, Tn., and a former first sergeant with the U.S. Army, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Samuel H. May Jr. of the Western District of Tennessee to conspiracy to launder approximately $250,000 in bribe payments he received from Afghan contractors in Afghanistan.  Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 4.

James C. Pittman, 45, of Rossville, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Carter of the Eastern District of Tennessee for his role in the conspiracy.  Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8.

According to pleadings filed at the time of the guilty pleas, from March 2008 through March 2009, Dennis was an Army sergeant assigned as a paying agent in the Humanitarian Aid Yard (HA Yard) at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.  Dennis was a member of the team in the HA Yard that purchased supplies from local Afghan vendors for distribution as part of the Commander’s Emergency Response Program for urgent humanitarian relief requirements in Afghanistan.  Dennis and a partner entered into an agreement to steer contracts to certain Afghan vendors in return for approximately $250,000 in cash bribes. 

 Authorities said Dennis smuggled the bribe money back to the United States hidden in packages addressed to his wife, his father and a former Army friend, Pittman.  Dennis sent $80,000 to $100,000 to his father from Afghanistan in packages that contained toy “jingle trucks,” colorfully decorated trucks or buses in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Dennis hid the money in the rear compartment of the toy trucks.  Dennis also shipped a hope chest to his father containing approximately $100,000 in cash in a concealed compartment.

 Also according to court documents, while on leave, Dennis met with Pittman, advised him that he had obtained money through kickbacks, and asked him for help laundering the funds.  Pittman, owner of a landscaping business, agreed to “run through his company” these bribery proceeds.  After returning to Afghanistan, Dennis sent approximately $60,000 to Pittman contained in toy jingle trucks.  Dennis also arranged for his father to send approximately $20,000 to Pittman, who returned it in the form of purported salary checks from Pittman’s company.

These matters are being investigated by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the FBI, the Army Criminal Investigative Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.  The prosecution is being handled by Trial Attorney Daniel Butler of the Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frederick Godwin of the Western District of Tennessee and James Brooks of the Eastern District of Tennessee.


Corker, Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Urge Democratic Republic Of Congo to Act On Adoption Reform

Senator Bob Corker joined Senators John Cornyn (R-Tx.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.) and a bipartisan group of 183 lawmakers in a letter this week urging parliamentary leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to pass adoption reform legislation and resume intercountry adoptions after the country suspended issuance of exit letters last year:   “We are concerned ... (click for more)

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)

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.9 Spring Hill here Wednesday night in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Quarterfinals at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. The win advances No.2 Notre Dame (11-5-4) to the state semis against Jackson Christian Thursday at 5 p.m. EDT. 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.4 Chattanooga Christian defeated No. 5 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 ... (click for more)