Note: This story was last updated at 10:25 p.m. May 9.
Eleven Oak Ridge and Knoxville residents were indicted May 3 on charges that they conspired to manufacture, distribute, and sell 300 grams or more of cocaine-based products last year.
The alleged cocaine conspiracy occurred between May 14 and December 23, 2015. The indictments were filed May 3, 2016.
The 11 indicted are:
- Jordan Antwan Jones, 28, Tracy Lane, in Oak Ridge;
- Deangelo James Galbreath, 28, Deer Run Drive, Knoxville;
- Laquan Bernard Barber, 32, Hillside Road, Oak Ridge;
- Derrick Jemail Anthony, 38, South Fisk Avenue, Oak Ridge;
- Christopher Shane Black, 28, West Pasadena Lane, Oak Ridge;
- Nicholas O’Brien Mitchell, 32, Tracy Lane, Oak Ridge;
- William Ralph Sanders Jr., 38, South Benedict Avenue, Oak Ridge;
- Alfred Lee Jones, 49, Black Rock Circle, Knoxville;
- Ellen Michelle Sanders, 31, Nasson Lane, Oak Ridge;
- Sarah Denise Cupp, 30, Aloha Avenue, Knoxville; and
- Efia Ann Hull, 38, Deer Run Drive, Knoxville.
They are each facing Class A felony charges of:
- conspiracy to manufacture 300 grams or more of cocaine,
- conspiracy to distribute 300 grams or more of cocaine,
- conspiracy to sell 300 grams or more of cocaine, and
- conspiracy to possess with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell 300 grams or more of cocaine.
They have also been indicted on Class A felony charges of:
- conspiracy to manufacture more than 0.5 gram of cocaine in a school zone,
- conspiracy to distribute more than 0.5 gram of cocaine in a school zone,
- conspiracy to sell more than 0.5 gram of cocaine in a school zone, and
- conspiracy to possess with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell more than 0.5 gram of cocaine in a school zone.
Some of the 11 indicted were among more than two dozen people arrested on Thursday and Friday as several law enforcement agencies swept through Oak Ridge and possibly other communities in what authorities have described as a complex, multi-county criminal investigation. Authorities said parts of the investigation were unprecedented, but they have released little information about it. Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark will have a press conference in his office in downtown Clinton on Monday afternoon, when local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are expected to provide a report on the investigation.
Anderson County jail records show a total of 28 arrests on Thursday and Friday on drug-related charges. The most common charge, by far, is related to manufacturing, delivering, selling, or possessing a controlled substance.
The Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk’s office was still working on filing a long list of indictments from the investigation on Friday, and it’s not clear if additional indictments could be filed against anybody who has been charged in the 11-person conspiracy.
Some additional indictments have been filed against Jordan Jones. He is facing 24 cocaine-related charges. That appears to be the most charges faced by any of the 28 people that were arrested on Thursday and Friday, according to jail records. Besides the conspiracy charges, Jones is facing 16 charges of selling more than one-half gram of cocaine in a school zone, which includes an area within 1,000 feet of a school, child care agency, public library, recreational center, or park. The alleged incidents occurred on 14 separate dates in July, August, September, October, and November 2015, the indictments said.
Additional indictments have also been filed against Ellen Sanders. She has three more charges for allegedly possessing cocaine with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell more than one-half gram of the illegal drug in a school zone on three dates in November 2015, according to court records.
There don’t initially appear to be any additional indictments for Sarah Cupp or Alfred Jones, at least not according to court records as of Saturday evening. It’s not clear yet if there will be any additional charges for Anthony, Barber, Black, Galbreath, Hull, Mitchell, or William Ralph Sanders.
Black was already in jail before the Thursday drug roundup. He has been charged with other crimes in a series of incidents earlier this year. Among them:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia after police allegedly found a plastic baggie corner with white residue suspected to be cocaine under the driver’s seat of a Nissan Maxima during a traffic stop on Hampton Road on January 8. Black was charged with driving with a suspended license during that same stop, and he was charged for driving on a suspended license (third offense or more) on March 28.
- Vandalism for allegedly shooting at his uncle’s vehicle at 133 Tulsa Road after coming into the shop on April 12, when he was reportedly belligerent and “saying all kinds of stuff,” trying to start a confrontation, according to arrest warrants. Police said they found five shell casings lying on the ground, and two rear tires on the uncle’s vehicle were punctured, its bed was damaged, and the motor was possibly damaged. Black was also charged with the unlawful carrying of a firearm and reckless endangerment because his uncle was reportedly on the other side of the vehicle while Black shot at it, placing the uncle in “imminent danger of death and serious bodily injury,” the warrants said.
- Felony evading for allegedly fleeing from Oak Ridge police on April 16, doing 41 mph in a 25 mph zone on Hillside Road, and driving on North Illinois Avenue at a high rate of speed into Oliver Springs, where police said Black exited the first vehicle and entered a second, which left the area. Black also faces four counts of reckless endangerment in that case for allegedly closely passing cars at high speed while evading in a way that victims said “scared (them) to death,” shook their car, and made them think they had been hit. Victims estimated the car was traveling at 90-100 miles per hour, and law enforcement recieved multiple 911 calls. One estimate said the vehicle was traveling at about 120 mph.
- Evading arrest and reckless driving on April 19 for allegedly fleeing from police at speeds over 75 mph on a roadway with a speed limit of 40 mph, passing other motorists in oncoming lanes, and passing very closely to other vehicles, “creating a risk of death or injury to the other motorists,” arrest warrants said.
- Manufacturing, delivering, or selling crack cocaine; possession of crack cocaine for sale; and possession of drug paraphernalia on April 28 after investigators allegedly found a pyrex dish, whisk with white residue, and a digital scale at a home on East Maiden Lane. The white residue was field tested and allegedly yielded a presumptive positive result for cocaine, warrants said. Police said Black told them the pyrex dish was his, and not the resident’s, according to arrest warrants. The home is about 300 feet from a nursery school on Kentucky Avenue.
William Ralph Sanders has been jailed since April 18 on charges that include domestic assault, violation of pretrial release, and probation violation, according to jail records.
Those who were indicted in the 11-person conspiracy and released on bond are Barber, Cupp, Galbreath, Hull, Alfred Jones, Jordan Jones, Mitchell, and Ellen Sanders. Those who remain jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton include Anthony, Black, and William Ralph Sanders.
Oak Ridge Today has not reviewed all the warrants and indictments that might be available from the 28-person drug roundup on Thursday and Friday, but we will continue to update this story as we can.
Most of those arrested on Thursday and Friday live in Oak Ridge, but eight have addresses listed in Clinton, Kingston, Knoxville, and Madisonville. The defendants range in age from 20-61.
Agencies observed working in Oak Ridge on Thursday included the Oak Ridge Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force, Clinton Police Department, and District Attorney General’s Office.
Update: Authorities have alleged a second 24-person conspiracy involving 300 grams or more of cocaine. See that story here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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