U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Tennessee
Eastern District of Tennessee
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2012
William C. Killian, United States Attorney
Contact: Sharry Dedman-Beard, Public Information Officer
Members of Major Drug Trafficking Organization Plead Guilty to Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy Charges
GREENEVILLE, Tenn – On February 15, 2012, the last five of 27 defendants in an October 12, 2012, 35-count indictment, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Ronnie Greer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville. Rodney Allen Mitchell, 32, of Kingsport, Tenn., Maurice William Gravely, 41, of Gray, Tenn., Cedric D’Andre Mitchell, 22, of ig Stone Gap, Va., Rachel Nichole Goad, 34, of Kingsport, Tenn., and Curtis Louis Prior, Jr., 35, of Kingsport, Tenn., all pleaded guilty to charges relating to conspiracies to distribute oxycodone and marijuana, and to money laundering.
Previously, 22 others from Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, South Florida, and Detroit, Mich., also pleaded guilty. They include: Jennifer Mitchell, 38, Kingsport, Tenn.;Lloyd James Steed, Jr., 34, Detroit, Mich.; Gilbert Miller, 42, Kingsport, Tenn.; James Howard Poole, Jr., 39, Kingsport, Tenn.; Jarian Hamler, 31, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Joshua Clark Martin, 29, Kingsport, Tenn.; Shawn James Banks, 40, Detroit, Mich.; Marquis Cornelius Taylor, 37, Miami, Fla.; Nekia Dwayne Clark, 35, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Allen Vaughn Crews, 37, Centerville, Va.; Justin Colby Vaughn, 36, Del Ray Beach, Fla.; Antwain Dwayne Hollinger, 33, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Adrian Jamal Cornette, 27, Wise County, Va.; Mose Devaughn White, 34, Johnson City, Tenn.; Duvale Pruitt, 37, Kingsport, Tenn.; Stephen Anthony Graham, 25, Johnson City, Tenn.; Stacy Montague White, 39, Kingsport, Tenn.; Keira Lashawn Moore, 29, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Semmaj Jarquis Taylor, 40, Dearfield Beach, Fla.; Dena Marie McGaughey, 39, Delray Beach, Fla.; and Victoria Danielle Bays, Johnson City, Tenn. All 27 are set for sentencing hearings between March and August of 2012.
This investigation involved law enforcement officers with the Tennessee Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force, Kingsport Tennessee Police Department, Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Johnson City Tennessee Police Department, Washington County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division, all of which provided valuable assistance during the course of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert M. Reeves, Eastern District of Tennessee and Zachary T. Lee, Western District of Virginia, represented the United States. Other individuals related to this investigation have been prosecuted by Sullivan County Tennessee District Attorney General Barry Staubus, and by the Wise County Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronald K. Elkins, which have been involved with the investigation since its inception in 2007.
I am very proud of the cooperative efforts of the investigators from the numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Tennessee and Virginia. Their hard work resulted in these charges and guilty pleas of members of one of the largest drug conspiracies in east Tennessee, stated U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.
The investigation is 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 combinesthe 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 mose serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.