Jackson, TN – Nine members of the Gangster Disciples have been indicted for distribution of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. D. Michael Dunavant, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the indictments today.

Marlon Jazz Taylor, a known Gangster Disciple member, was the main subject of an investigation of a drug trafficking organization that shipped narcotics from California to distribute in West Tennessee.

The nine defendants currently in custody are:

Marlon Jazz Taylor, 33, McKenzie, Tennessee

Nicholas Rodgers, 37, Willows, California

Tarus Taylor, 37, McKenzie, Tennessee

Elizabeth Espey, 35, McKenzie, Tennessee

Terry Weathers, 35, McKenzie, Tennessee

Richie Henderson, 48, Paris, Tennessee

Derrick Howard, 38, McKenzie, Tennessee

Duane Smith, 46, McKenzie, Tennessee

Bobby Joe Kemp, Jr., 35, Huntington, Tennessee

If convicted, each defendant will face a possible sentence of not less than 10 years imprisonment, $10,000,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.

In addition, Taylor was also charged with two counts of being felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release for each count.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “Criminal enterprises that distribute harmful drugs into our rural communities can no longer hide. We are taking the fight to the gangs in order to dismantle their drug trafficking organizations and remove them from our streets.”

Carroll County Sheriff Andy Dickson said, “I would like to thank the agents with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the 24th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force for their successful efforts in the dismantling of an illegal drug organization operating in our county. During the operation, the agents seized and gained intelligence on multiple pounds of marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, which were being distributed in our local communities. Operations such as this are made possible through the strong working relationships being forged between the Sheriff’s Office and the other agencies involved. These agents are progressively working the drug trade in our county by constantly gathering intelligence on transactions and drug organizations in an effort to rid our streets of the persons responsible for these illegal activities. “

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the 24th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Kitchen is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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