A dozen suspects arrested in alleged drug ring reaching to Mexican border

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 6:23pm

A statewide investigation by five law enforcement agencies led to a Davidson County grand jury indictment of 14 individuals involved in an alleged drug ring that transported hundreds of pounds of marijuana throughout the state.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the Memphis and Nashville police departments worked together on the investigation, which dealt with criminal activity from the Mexican border to Due West Avenue in Madison.

The indictment stemmed from a Metro Nashville Police Department investigation in September 2011 when Ricky Robinson, Nicholas Jackson, Anthony Mickens and Oscar Zarate were arrested after allegedly transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Nashville. Mickens allegedly drove the supply from Jackson’s safe house in Memphis to Robinson’s home off Briley Parkway near the airport.

Zarate and Jackson were arrested after a search warrant was executed in Memphis, while Mickens and Robinson were arrested in Nashville.

The indictment, filed on March 9, shows the breadth of the drug operation. John Phillips and Amy Hughes of Brookhaven and Southaven, Miss., are accused of traveling from Little Rock, Ark., to Texas, to retrieve more than 300 pounds of marijuana and bring it back to Tennessee.

Larry Ahlman, of Edinburg, Texas, was charged in connection with the conspiracy for allegedly flying from McAllen, Texas, near the Mexican border, to Memphis with proceeds and funds from the operation, as directed by Zarate.

The indictment also alleges Dorian Brown and Donald Brown, of Madison and Hendersonville respectively, “carried large trash bags used to conceal heavy bundles of marijuana” in connection with the drug trafficking last year.

Hughes, Phillips, Ahlman, Brown and three other defendants accused of assisting in the drug operation in Jackson, Tenn., were arrested over the last two weeks and are being held in Davidson County Jail. Two defendants aren’t in custody.

Facing one count of conspiring to sell more than 300 pounds of marijuana in a school zone are: Oscar Zarate of Memphis; Amy Hughes of Southaven, Miss.; Markeith Dunlap of Memphis; Arnold Lee of Memphis; Donald Brown of Hendersonville; Larry Ahlman of Edinburg, Texas; Anthony Cole of Jackson, Tenn.; Steven Newsom of Jackson, Tenn.; John Martin Phillips of Brookhaven, Miss.; Dorian Brown of Madison; Veonkea Brown of Nashville; Ricky Robinson of Hermitage; Nicholas Jackson of Memphis; and Anthony Mickens of Memphis.

Mickens, Jackson, Robinson, Dorian Brown and Donald Brown face additional drug charges and felony weapon charges.

Initial court dates haven’t been set.

6 Comments on this post:

By: yucchhii on 3/28/12 at 9:09

I remember once some years ago in my home town, there was a pot bust of couple TONS. When they were ready to dispose of it, they sent it to the city incinerator. There was this tall smokestack that the pot smike came out of. A few friends and I were there at the entry gate where they had a police officer posted to keep anyone out during the burning. One of my friends asked the cop "How do you know when the pot is burning?" The cop said "You look up at the top of the smokestack and when you se the seagulls fling around upside down, then you know that's when it's burning...Lol. We hung around to get high from the fumes as the wind blew a lot of it our way...Ha hahahahah!!!

By: Jughead on 3/28/12 at 11:01

@yuccky: That was a stupid story. Thanks for wasting 30 seconds of my life.

By: Thick1tyme on 3/28/12 at 5:31

What the writer didn't tell you about this story is that the MNPD, MPD, TBI and DEA have all of this information about these people but have still failed to create a solid case. They are grasping at straws trying to make the charges stick to most of the people they've detained. Praying that they plead out for the charges that they barely have evidence for. They are interrupting innocent peoples' live because they need a snitch to bring most of the defendants to justice. I'm just waiting to see how this plays out because they've had most of the people locked up for over 6 months and nothing has happened yet. The justice system is full of itself and I don't mean that in a good way. They need to be down in Florida trying to bring Trayvon Martin's Killer in custody. R.I.P. Trayvon!

By: TITAN1 on 3/29/12 at 11:02

Getting any druggie off the street is worth it, if they are found guilty. As for Trayvon's killer, it looks like there are two sides to that story. Again, get all the facts and if the accused is found guilty, prosecute him.

By: fightcrib on 3/29/12 at 11:38

500lbs of good Mexican trees to smoke on wasted???? Poor Trayvon is rolling in his grave up in here.

Fightcrib, BNA

By: fightcrib on 3/29/12 at 2:31

Why the silent treatment, yahh?? What, is it too early??