CHATTANOOGA (press release)—The Marion County Sheriff’s Department will receive a check in the amount of $751,515.71, which represents the majority of funds forfeited in a marijuana trafficking case prosecuted in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.
Jackie Morrison, 66, Ollie Frizzell, 53, Sammy Nance, 51, all of Whitwell, Tenn., along with Julio Barbosa, Sr., 60, of Laredo, Texas, were charged and convicted of offenses related to the scheme, which operated from 2004 to 2011. The operation was responsible for transporting over 1000 pounds of marijuana from Texas to East Tennessee, where it was distributed.
Morrison was arrested as he was returning from Laredo, Texas to Jasper, Tenn., in November 2011 with 66 pounds of marijuana in his pickup truck.
Searches of the truck and residences for Morrison and his coconspirators resulted in the seizure of approximately 86 pounds of marijuana, guns, explosives, drug ledgers, cash, vehicles, and bank accounts.
After a jury trial, Morrison was found guilty of a conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and 28 counts of structuring money to evade currency reporting requirements. He was sentenced to serve 72 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release. The jury also found that $779,033.23, was forfeitable as money involved in the structuring offenses, and $820.00 and a 2003 Ford F-250 pickup truck were forfeitable as property involved in drug trafficking offenses.
Nance pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of marijuana. He was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release. Nance was acquitted by the jury of the conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. However, the jury forfeited an ATV used by Nance to distribute the marijuana for which he pleaded guilty.
Frizzell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. She was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release. She also forfeited a 2005 Toyota Tacoma and $159,700.70.
Barbosa pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and money laundering. He was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison, followed by eight years of supervised release.
Of the total $961,413.93 ordered by the court to be forfeited, $939,553.93 was cash and $21,860.00, was the value of vehicles and an ATV.