DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 1, 2018
D. Michael Dunavant
, United States Attorney
Contact: Cherri Green

McNairy County Man Found Guilty of Drug Conspiracy, Being a Felon in Possession of Firearms, and Possessing Firearms in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Offenses

Jackson, TN – A federal jury has convicted a McNairy county man for conspiring to distribute, and distributing actual methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. D. Michael Dunavant, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty verdict today.

According to the information presented in court, Joshua Tucker, 28, of Selmer, TN was a member of a drug conspiracy operating throughout West Tennessee from October 2016 to April 2017. The investigation led to the federal prosecution of Tucker, along with eleven other co-conspirators, who sold large amounts of methamphetamine throughout West Tennessee including Bath Springs, Lexington, Parsons, Selmer, Reagan, Lutts, and Milledgeville and Iuka, MS.

Tucker’s conviction results from an extensive investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement officials into a drug trafficking organization involving Kevin Smith and his associates including Joshua Tucker. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), West Tennessee 24th Judicial Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) conducted a yearlong investigation and utilized various investigation strategies to determine that Tucker had sold over two kilograms of actual methamphetamine (ICE) to co-conspirators who resold the ICE between December 2016 and April 2017.

The investigation further revealed that Tucker, a convicted felon, possessed firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking. On April 27, 2017, investigators with McNairy County Counter-Drug Unit and Selmer Police Department executed a probation search at Tuckers home. During the search, officers located an AR-15 style rifle along with a 9 mm pistol in Tuckers bedroom. Officers located approximately 20 grams of ICE packaged for resale in a safe containing two digital scales and $5,677.75. In the same room, officers located drug

paraphernalia including boxes of plastic baggies and pipes as well as .223 and 9mm ammunition. Investigators also seized five vehicles. After searching the vehicles, officers located over 400 grams of methamphetamine inside a container under the driver seat of one of the cars.

U.S. Attorney Dunavant said, "Armed Drug Trafficking Organizations will NOT continue to endanger our communities in West Tennessee with impunity. We use all available law enforcement and prosecutorial resources to pursue, disrupt and dismantle groups and conspiracies that are most responsible for the illegal sale of this position to our citizens, and to remove dangerous offenders with firearms from our streets. This defendant and his co-conspirators have sowed addiction, pain, and destruction into our communities, and now they will reap a long prison sentence as a consequence."

"It takes a collaborative effort to dismantle complex drug organizations," said D. Christopher Evans, DEA Special Agent In Charge. "These types of investigations show that DEA remains committed to working with our state and local partners, and our ATF counterparts to target violent drug traffickers and make our communities safer," Evans added.

Tucker was charged with several offenses including:

  • conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine;
  • aiding and abetting each other to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine;
  • knowingly possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine;
  • being a felon in possession of an AR-15 style rifle;
  • being a felon in possession of a 9 mm pistol;
  • possessing the AR-15 style rifle in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense; and
  • possessing the 9 mm pistol in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

After a four-day trial, the defendant was found guilty as to each count.

Sentencing is set for January 8, 2019 at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. Chief Judge S. Thomas Anderson. Tucker faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years up to life imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), West Tennessee 24th Judicial Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), along with McNairy County Counter-Drug Unit and Selmer Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Taylor Eskridge and Hillary Parham prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

###

Field Division: Nashville Field Division