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.


Corker Reiterates Strong Opposition To Arms Trade Treaty

Senator Bob Corker, on Friday, reiterated his strong opposition to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty after the Obama administration submitted the treaty to the Senate. Senator Corker was among a bipartisan group of 53 senators who voted in favor of  an amendment  in 2013 to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights and prevent the U.S. from entering into the treaty. ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Seeking Information Regarding Armed Robbery Suspect

The  Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division is investigating a robbery which took place on Friday, at approximately  8 a.m.  at the Trading Post, a convenience store at  4869 Pattontown Road in Ooltewah .   The robber, described as a short, heavy-set, white male, wearing khaki pants and a grey-hooded sweatshirt, ... (click for more)

Roy Couldn't Possibly Be More Wrong - And Response (4)

Spreading false information isn't only harmful, as we've been made aware recently. The spread of false information can be outright dangerous.   Calling himself a Christian and all, Roy truly disappoints on so many levels with his recently opinion piece about black students attending predominately white schools being the cause of so much problems and grief at those schools. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Senseless Divide

If I could change one thing about the schools in Chattanooga, my wish would be that everybody could become good friends. I’m talking about the private schools versus the public schools. The rancor is so bad we hardly ever play in sports anymore and what the loathsome TSSAA has done in recent years to the out-numbered private schools is sinful. My dream would be that there would ... (click for more)

Hixson's Courtney Jones Headed To Hiwassee

Courtney Jones is almost finished with one important segment of her life and she's not wasting any time getting on with the next part. Jones is currently a senior at Hixson High School, but she will graduate next week and heading to Madisonville where she will be playing volleyball at the college level for the Hiwassee Lady Tigers. Jones has been an integral part of Hixson's ... (click for more)

Walker Valley, Soddy Daisy Big Mat Winners

The Walker Valley Mustangs recorded pins in the first five matches and never looked back as they beat host Ooltewah in a prep wrestling match Thursday evening by a resounding 61-12 final. The match began at 120 pounds and James Jur put his team ahead with a first-period pin.  Cameron Dwyer, Ethan West, Dillon Clark and Zeth Haynie followed with pins and it never got any ... (click for more)