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.


Motorcyclist From Fort Oglethorpe Crash Taken Off Life Support

A motorcyclist who had been in critical condition since a crash with an SUV on Sunday has died. Jesse Campbell had been on life support since the wreck on LaFayette Road  in Fort Oglethorpe. Authorities said the driver of the SUV, Janet Marie Brock, would be charged with failure to yield the right of way and vehicular homicide. (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLMON, MELISSA LYNNE  1608 NORTH CHESTER ROAD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- AUFFARTH, SAMUEL JAMES  20 MASON DRIVE APT #214 RED BANK, 37415  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property - And Response

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Know About Dowries

There is a lawyer in Kenya who wants to meet President Barack Obama very badly. He knows the President will visit Kenya in July and the noble, young lawyer, Felix Kiprono, is very sincere when he says he wants to marry the oldest of the Obama daughters, 16-year-old Malia. He became interested in Malia in 2008 and can proudly say he has dated no other women since then, it has just ... (click for more)

Harris Leaves Tyner For Administrative Job At Dalewood Middle

(Story has been updated) Long-time Tyner Academy boys basketball coach Gerald Harris has resigned his coaching position to accept a job as assistant principal at Dalewood Middle School. Harris, 49, was offered and accepted the administration job last Friday and met with last year’s team on Tuesday to break the news to those players. “I’ve been coaching a long time ... (click for more)

Coppinger, Dinger Earn 6-A Softball Superlatives

Whitwell's Alyssa Coppinger and Lookout Valley's David Dinger captured the top honors in District 6-A softball for the 2015 season. Coppinger was voted the 6-A Player of the Year while Dinger was honored as the Coach of the Year. Listed  below are the players who earned all district honors with Lookout Valley, Marion County, Sale Creek and Whitwell having four players ... (click for more)