Long-term investigation leads to 32 arrests in major drug bust

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 7:16pm
Staff reports

An investigation begun in early 2009 and involving the distribution of thousands of pounds of marijuana and cocaine throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee has resulted in felony drug and/or money laundering charges against 32 persons, including those allegedly overseeing the enterprise, Metro police said Thursday.

The investigation by Metro police officers assigned to the 20th Judicial Drug Task Force and their counterparts with the 17th Judicial Drug Task Force in Lewisburg to date has resulted in the seizure of 1,370 pounds of marijuana, 8.4 kilograms of cocaine, about $766,000 in cash, 49 vehicles and 15 firearms. Liens have been placed on seven properties.

“This investigation is very significant in that those persons believed responsible for trafficking in extraordinarily large amounts of marijuana and cocaine have been identified and jailed,” Metro police chief Steve Anderson said in a release. “Two years of difficult police work has made Nashville’s streets safer and less prone to the violence often associated with large drug organizations and shipments.”

The major takedown in the case, police said, came Nov. 13, shortly after a 1,260-pound marijuana shipment, originating in Mexico and entering the United States via Texas, arrived at a warehouse located at 909 E. Trinity Lane — across the street from the police department’s East Precinct. 

The marijuana, which police said was stuffed into crates of produce containing green tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, was off-loaded at the warehouse and sent to homes on North Summerfield Drive and Constitution Avenue. Drug Task Force members moved in at that point. As a result of the investigation, 19 search warrants have been executed, the latest of which occurred Wednesday night.

Police said Drug Task Force members continue to pursue information developed in the investigation and additional arrests are expected. 

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