Federal agents and local police said Tuesday they went after a man suspected of being involved in multiple local gang-related shootings. They said Eric Woods got away, but an associate, D'Avonte Wofford, was captured.
Wofford was found with a gun and marijuana and was charged in Federal Court with being in possession of a firearm by an unauthorized user of a controlled substance.
A complaint says those involved in the operation included the Chattanooga Police Department, the East Ridge Police Department, ATF and the U.S. Marshal's Service. They were after Woods, who has active felony warrants.
Agents said they spotted a maroon Volkswagen Passat known to be used by Woods and Wofford at 950 Spring Creek Road.
They said Woods and Wofford had fled from police during an attempted traffic stop on July 23.
An individual believed to be Woods came out of Apt. 123 and left in the Passat. The vehicle was located a short time later at an apartment complex at 1803 Bailey Ave.
Agents said they observed a high amount of short-term traffic coming and going at that location. They said Wofford exited the apartment, made a marijuana sale at the parking lot, then went back inside. Law enforcement confronted the person involved in the purchase, who admitted buying marijuana. The marijuana was confiscated.
The complaint says a short time later an individual matching the description of Woods came out of the apartment and got into the Passat. When law enforcement sought to detain him, he sped off at a high rate of speed.
The vehicle was pursued by both city and sheriff officers with their emergency equipment activated. However, the driver got away.
The Passat was located a short time later back at 950 Spring Creek Road. Law enforcement surrounded the apartment and loudly announced "Police." After several minutes, Wofford came outside. There was an extensive search after obtaining a search warrant, but no other individuals were located.
Law enforcement found a bag containing two AR-style pistols, a loaded high-capacity drum magazine, a loaded 40-round rifle magazine and loose ammunition.
They also found 5.4 grams of marijuana, a large digital scale and plastic baggies.
Wofford, who is 18, claimed ownership of one of the guns. He said he had bought it several weeks prior at a gun show in East Ridge. He said it was "an under the table deal" and the seller did not conduct a background check.
Wofford said he had smoked marijuana every day for the past two years and only sells small amounts. He said he is "a penny pincher."