2 Chattanooga Men Get Lengthy Sentences On Cocaine Sales In Johnson City

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Ladarius Blunt
Ladarius Blunt
Ladarius Lebron Blunt, 27, and Jeremy Jermaine Whatley, 29, both of Chattanooga, were sentenced Wednesday by Federal Judge Ronnie Greer to serve 188 months and 60 months, respectively, in federal prison. 
 
Both Blunt and Whatley were previously convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.   
 
Beginning in 2011, law enforcement began investigating a large-scale crack cocaine conspiracy originating out of Chattanooga.  As part of the conspiracy, numerous individuals, including Blunt and Whatley, trafficked kilogram quantities of crack cocaine to Johnson City for resale.
  Private vehicles, taxi cabs, and public transportation were commonly used to transport the drugs.  Many of the coconspirators had ties to street gangs based in Chattanooga, including the Rollin’ 60’s Crips and the Woodlawn Crips.  Upon arrival in Johnson City, Blunt, Whatley and others would distribute their drugs, return to Chattanooga with their drug sale proceeds, purchase additional drugs, and repeat the cycle, agents said.  
 
As part of the investigation, law enforcement conducted a series of controlled drug transactions with Blunt, Whatley and other co-conspirators.  On two separate occasions, Blunt sold crack cocaine to individuals working on behalf of law enforcement.  On two other occasions, Whatley did the same.  Subsequent police actions found both Blunt and Whatley to be in possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute. 
 
One co-conspirator remains to be sentenced in Greeneville.  Numerous others are being prosecuted in Chattanooga.
 
This long-term investigation was the product of a partnership between the Johnson City, Tn. Police Department; Chattanooga Police Department; the Federal Bureau of investigation; and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney Nick Regalia represented the United States. 
 
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce gun laws.  It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences.  PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces. 
 
This case was also a result of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy.  OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.



PHOTOS: Boy Scouts Place American Flags At Veterans' Gravesites

Members of the Cherokee Council of the Boy Scouts of America placed American flags at veterans’ gravesites  Saturday  at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, MARDARREIUS FOOQUON  707 RICHARDSON ST ROSSVILLE, 30741  Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ALTERATION OF ITEM'S PERMANENT NUMBER POSS.A FIREARM DURING COMMISSIION OR ATTEMPT TO CO POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA FOR RESALE POSSESSION OF CRACK COCAINE FOR RESALE POSSESSION ... (click for more)

Conserving White Flight To Private, Public Secluded Schools Is Shameful

If you really care about the kids of Hamilton County’s most distressed schools, then you’ll take help where you can get it. The question on your mind isn’t which political label someone wears. Anyone who shifts attention away from the critical issues facing public education and toward political labels is not really committed to public education. Their support for equitable, quality ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Today’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies is the most technical savvy, advanced, software-enhanced, and modern-day genius that I have ever delivered. I can sum it up in just one sentence: I am using a new H-P Pavilion that is the newest seventh-generation Intel Core computer and, if you want to see “real funny,” go get a new computer and try switching over your tech ... (click for more)

Summertown Stops Sale Creek's Bid For A State Class 1A State Softball Title, 7-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek had its sight set on making some softball history Friday. The Lady Panthers reached their first TSSAA state softball championship with a 3-1 victory over Cascade, powered by a Trinity Liner three-run homer on her 18 th birthday. A few hours later, they wanted to beat Summertown and set up a second title game for all the marbles. ... (click for more)

Silverdale Wins D-II-A State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaili Phillips got disqualified in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Tipton-Rosemark Lady Rebels and nobody gave the Silverdale Lady Seahawks a snowball’s chance of winning that game. But they did. Nobody gave the Lady Seahawks much of a chance of repeating that feat less than 24 hours later in the winner-take-all final game, but once again, ... (click for more)