KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On September 9, 2020, Samuel Weaver, 62, of Chattanooga, was sentenced by the Honorable Curtis Collier, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Weaver was sentenced to 295 months in federal prison for a multitude of drug and firearms related offenses. Weaver fired upon members of the Chattanooga Police Department’s SWAT team when they attempted to serve a search warrant at his residence, which contributed to his lengthy sentence.
Officers received information that Weaver was a large-scale drug dealer who was storing drugs in his residence on Noah Street in Chattanooga. A search warrant was issued for Weaver’s home and the SWAT officers were called to assist the Drug Enforcement Administration with the search of the residence.
On February 7, 2019, at least 20 SWAT officers arrived to serve the search warrant at daybreak. The Chattanooga SWAT unit Commander testified that multiple sirens were activated for “at least 10 – 12 seconds,” and announcements were made over a PA system notifying the occupants of the residence that police were present to serve the warrant.
After law enforcement took steps to notify anyone in the home of the police presence and intentions, officers approached the front door. Weaver then fired a shot from within the home in the direction of the front door. Fortunately, the bullet lodged in the door frame and did not break through and strike any officers. Weaver then attempted to flee out the back of the residence but was apprehended by SWAT officers.
Distribution quantities of heroin, fentanyl, pure methamphetamine, and crack cocaine, and over $27,000.00 in cash were found in Weaver’s bedroom, along with various items used for the manufacturing and distribution of narcotics. A loaded rifle and handgun were also located inside the residence, and a loaded handgun was recovered in Weaver’s parked vehicle. This was not Weaver’s first encounter with the criminal justice system. Weaver was released from federal prison in 2015 after being caught with nearly a kilogram of cocaine in his trunk and being sentenced to serve 60 months. Weaver also had multiple burglary convictions from Hamilton County.
United States Attorney J. Douglas Overbey praised the hard work of the prosecution and law enforcement teams involved in this case, saying, “Our office’s immediate concern was for the safety of the police officers involved. These officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our community from those who seek to perpetuate drug use and abuse. Drawing a hard line sends a message to all drug dealers that those who attempt violence against our police officers will not get a slap on the wrist,” said U.S. Attorney Overbey.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Clark and Luke A. McLaurin represented the United States.