DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Donald Q. Cochran
, United States Attorney
Contact: David Boling

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Drug and Firearm Offenses Committed Near Elementary School and Public Housing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – October 25, 2017 – Emmanuel Thirkill, aka Hot Boy, 36, of Nashville, Tenn., pleaded guilty Monday in U.S District Court to drug trafficking and firearms violations, announced U.S. Attorney Donald Q. Cochran of the Middle District of Tennessee. 
“As the facts of this case indicate, this defendant seriously miscalculated law enforcement’s interest in his illegal activities,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran.  “This office and our law enforcement partners will continue our efforts to safeguard our citizens in these public housing areas by removing the bad actors who are so detrimental to their quality of life.  A sentence of more than 21 years will put an end to the defendant’s constant criminal activity, for which he has been in and out of state prison on a regular basis.  There is no parole in the federal system.”
According to court documents, beginning in May 2016, after being released from prison, Thirkill began selling cocaine in the Tony Sudekem Public Housing Development on a daily basis.  Thirkill became the subject of a criminal investigation by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives as part of a concerted effort to reduce crime in the city’s public housing areas.
The investigation determined that Thirkill was receiving a supply of cocaine on a weekly basis, which he stored in his Antioch home located near Thomas Edison Elementary School.  On December 6, 2016, Metro Nashville police officers attempted to stop Thirkill as he was leaving his home, but Thirkill fled and temporarily escaped capture.  A search warrant was subsequently obtained and executed at Thirkill’s home and officers found five ounces of cocaine, $15,000 cash and a loaded Glock 9mm pistol, which was determined to have been stolen during a home burglary in Sumner County, Tenn. in 2013.
Metro Police located and arrested Thirkill the following day at a hotel in West Nashville.  Court documents reflect that Thirkill admitted ownership of the firearm and cocaine and stated that he believed that federal authorities were only focusing on “gang bangers and murderers” and believed he could continue selling drugs in the area without consequence. 
Thirkill has four prior felony convictions in state court, since 2001, for trafficking cocaine; two prior felony convictions for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm; and a conviction for attempted reckless aggravated assault.
This investigation was conducted by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department’s Gang Division and the ATF.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy prosecuted the case. 
Since 2015, more than 40 individuals have been identified and charged with federal offenses and removed from Nashville’s public housing areas as part of the violent crime initiative of the U.S. Attorney, the ATF and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.  On October 5, 2017, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of the Project Safe Neighborhood initiative and other actions to reduce the rising tide of violent crime.  Read the Attorney General’s announcement here.
Nashville Field Division