Jackson, TN – Four individuals have been indicted for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the indictment today.
On July 30, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment which remained sealed until the defendants’ arrest. This investigation was conducted in conjunction with federal prosecutors in Jackson as part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, which seeks to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, money laundering organizations, and related criminal enterprises.
The four defendants listed are currently in custody:
• Jason Kennedy, 43, of Puryear, Tennessee
• Justin Barker, 31, of Atlanta, Georgia
• Derick Barker, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia
• Colby Criswell, 29, of Greenfield, Tennessee
During this investigation, agents seized large amounts of crystal methamphetamine (ICE), money, digital scales, a firearm, and other various paraphernalia from the defendants at a hotel in Jackson, TN. The defendants were arrested on July 25, 2020 and charged in a federal criminal complaint.
Criswell has also previously been charged among seventeen individuals with operating a multi-state drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in West Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi in “Operation Clear Cut”. https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtn/pr/seventeen-charged-multi-state-drug-trafficking-ring-operation-clear-cut.
If convicted in this case, the defendants each face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years and up to life imprisonment.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “West Tennessee is a major logistics hub for the country, and drug trafficking organizations transport large quantities into and through our communities. We must use every available resource to disrupt and dismantle these conspiracies, and hold them accountable for distributing poisonous illegal drugs that cause addiction, injury, and death. We commend the outstanding investigative work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in this important case involving significant seizures of dangerous narcotics.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – Jackson, Houston, and Chattanooga offices; Madison County Sheriff’s Department; Weakley County Sheriff’s Department; Jackson-Madison County Narcotics Unit; 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force; Puryear Police Department, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.