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.


Top City Of Chattanooga Pay

Here is the top pay at the city of Chattanooga: Bean, Russell J       City Judge        $170,537.41 Paty, Sherry B City Judge        $170,537.41 Berke, Andrew L.        Mayor  $154,781.15 Fletcher, Frederick Allen Police Chief     ... (click for more)

Independent Candidate Perry Lamb To Turn In Signatures For Walker County Commissioner Race

Perry Lamb said he would pay his qualifying fee on Thursday morning as an Independent candidate for Walker County sole commissioner. He said he would then finalize the process on July 8 by delivering the 16,50 signatures he has collected that are required by law to put him on the November ballot. His campaign said, "This accomplishment is a first for Walker ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (3)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)

Hensley Succeeds Henry As Soddy-Daisy Athletic Director

Soddy-Daisy baseball coach Jared Hensley has added a new role to his duties. Hensley, who has coached the baseball Trojans for eight years with a 177-111 record and state tournament appearances in 2011 and 2015, is the school’s new athletic director. Hensley takes over for Steve Henry, now the school’s principal. “With coach Henry now the man in charge at our school,” ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Fairyland Clinches Red Division Swim Title

Members of the Calhoun swim team were set and ready to compete on the pool deck at the Fairyland Club Monday night, but they never got wet as the meet was postponed by lighting, thunder and the overall threat of stormy weather. They made the long trip back about 24 hours later and the second time around wasn’t nearly as productive as 21 less swimmers made the trip to the top ... (click for more)