U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Tennessee
Western District of Tennessee
For Immediate Release
November 2, 2012
Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney
Contact: Rodney King
Derek Lucas Gets Life in Prison for Drug Conspiracy and Firearms Possession for His Role in Armed Home Invasion Group
Memphis, TN – Derek Lucas, 36, of Memphis, TN, convicted in May on drug conspiracy and firearms charges, was sentenced to life in federal prison yesterday by District Judge S. Thomas Anderson for his role in a conspiracy to rob drug dealers, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton and Special Agent in Charge Glenn N. Anderson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Nashville Field Division.
Lucas was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, as well as possession of multiple firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). A violation of § 846 carried a potential penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life imprisonment, as well as a potential fine of $10,000,000 and five years supervised release. A violation of § 924(c) carried a potential penalty of not less than five years and not more than life imprisonment, as well as a potential fine of $250,000 and five years supervised release.
According to court testimony, an undercover ATF agent approached Lucas and others posing as an out-of-town drug courier who was disgruntled with certain drug dealers. Lucas and the others readily agreed to join a plot to utilize firearms to rob the drug dealers of over five kilograms of cocaine and money. This proposed robbery was in fact a ruse created by the undercover agent. Ultimately, Lucas and the others agreed to accompany the undercover agent on February 1, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee in order to retrieve a rental vehicle to use in the imminent robbery. Lucas and the others were arrested at the location, where officers recovered the following weapons from Lucas and the others: (1) a loaded Bryco Arms .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol; (2) a loaded Glock .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol; (3) an unloaded Smith $ Wesson 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol; and (4) a loaded Romarm/Cugir, Model SAR-1, 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle. Of note, the Romarm/Cugir, Model SAR-1, 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle was equipped with a high-capacity drum magazine, which was loaded with approximately fifty-seven rounds of ammunition. Additionally, officers recovered a separate Smith & Wesson magazine, which was loaded with twelve (12) live rounds of 9mm caliber ammunition.
The mandatory life sentence he received was based upon his extensive and violent criminal history. Lucas‘s accomplices in the crime pleaded guilty. Derrick Dowdy was sentenced to 180 months, while Neal, Wallace and Scott received 120 months each. There is no possibility of parole in the federal systems.
The life sentence imposed by the court should send a clear message to individuals who seek to terrorize our community through brazen and violent acts, that such wanton conduct will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, said U.S. Attorney Stanton.
Due to the vigilant and collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners, justice has been duly served upon Mr. Lucas.
When Lucas decided to be involved in a scheme involving firearms, drugs and a potential violent armed robbery he probably didn't expect it would lead to him becoming a permanent resident at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Glenn N. Anderson.
ATF and our law enforcement partners will continue to focus on violent offenders like Lucas. Those who insist on making similar choices can expect to serve hard prison time, added Anderson.
This case was a joint investigation by the ATF, Memphis Field Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration Memphis High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, the Memphis Police Department, and the Shelby County Sheriff‘s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jerry R. Kitchen and Daniel T. French.