06/07/2019 | Press release | Archived content
Jackson, TN - Kenneth Garrett, 62, has been sentenced to 200 months imprisonment on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the sentence today.
This is the latest sentencing in a case involving multiple defendants including Rolando Lopez, Saul Vega Flores, Virginia Torres, Ronald Lynn Parham, Tammy Ranger, Marcus Jones, and Xavier Demetrius James on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
According to information presented in court, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began an investigation into Rolando Lopez and his drug trafficking organization. Agents discovered that Lopez and other co-conspirators were trafficking in methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and other illegal substances from Mexico to Tennessee. Investigators used 'wiretaps' along with surveillance, confidential sources, traffic stops, and search warrants to investigate this organization.
In April, 2017, agents received information from a confidential informant regarding a home in Davidson County, Tennessee, where Lopez and his brother, were conducting drug related activity. A search warrant was executed at the residence where over $500,000 in cash, a money counter, and a vacuum sealer were recovered. In December 2017, investigators through wiretap interceptions and information received from confidential informants learned that Lopez was arranging a shipment of methamphetamine from Mexico to Tennessee.
The shipment was being transported by other co-conspirators in a 2004 Lincoln Navigator to the residence of a co-conspirator in theWestern District of Tennessee, where the shipment was to be converted to powder form for distribution. Kenneth Garrett met with other co-conspirators transporting the liquid methamphetamine at the Days Inn in
West Memphis, Arkansas. Once the defendants began to transport the liquid methamphetamine into the Western District of Tennessee, investigators arranged for the Tennessee Highway Patrol to stop the Lincoln Navigator on Highway 51 in Obion County, Tennessee. During the search of the vehicle, agents discovered a large quantity of methamphetamine located in a hidden compartment. A DEA forensic laboratory examination revealed that the defendant and other co-conspirators were transporting 44.85 kilograms of 98% pure ice.
Garrett allowed other co-conspirators to use his garage to store methamphetamine. Garrett was paid by the organization between $2,000 to $8,000 per methamphetamine load. At the garage, Garrett assisted in loading methamphetamine in gas tanks and the vehicle batteries for transportation.
Kenneth Garrett was attributed with a total of 97.17 kilograms of actual methamphetamine.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: 'Use and trafficking of methamphetamine continues to destroy lives, families, and communities across West Tennessee. The joint cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement in this case demonstrates our ability and resolve to dismantle drug trafficking organizations, including those that distribute narcotics from locations outside the country. The significant sentence in this case sends a clear message to those drug dealers who distribute poison in West Tennessee: You cannot prey upon our citizens for your selfish personal gain with impunity; there will be a reckoning.'
On June 7, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Garrett to 200 months in federal prison followed by 5 years supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force, Metro Nashville Police Department, Perry County, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Lawrenceburg Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Obion County Sheriff's Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Kitchen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.