27 People Guilty from Florida Drug Trafficking Ring

September 5, 2012 Department of Justice United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee South Florida Man Sentenced For Role In Bringing Oxycodone To East Tennessee

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Semmaj Jarquis Taylor, 40, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., was sentenced on September 5, 2012, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 97 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and money laundering. Upon his release from prison he will serve six years on supervised release. Taylor pleaded guilty to a federal indictment in December 2011.

Taylor admitted that he was involved with others in south Florida supplying oxycodone to several individuals in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee as well as southwest Virginia. Co-conspirators were depositing cash from drug proceeds into the bank accounts of Dena McGaughey and others as payment for these drugs. Taylor admitted to distributing 4,976 oxycodone pills and laundering between $120 thousand and $200 thousand in drug proceeds. All 26 individuals charged in the indictment with Taylor have now been convicted.

Five plead guilty in federal drug, money laundering probe - February 16, 2012

GREENEVILLE - The last five of 27 defendants in a federal drug and money-laundering case pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday in a news release.

Rodney Allen Mitchell, 32, Rachel Nichole Goad, 34, Curtis Louis Prior Jr., 35, all of Kingsport; Maurice William Gravely, 41, Gray; and Cedric D'Andre Mitchell, 22, Big Stone Gap, Va., pleaded guilty to charges relating to conspiracies to distribute oxycodone and marijuana and money laundering.

Previously, 22 others from Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, South Florida, and Detroit, Mich., also pleaded guilty.

Others convicted from this investigation include: Rodney Allen Mitchell, 32, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Maurice William Gravely, 41, of Gray, Tenn.; Cedric D'Andre Mitchell, 22, of Big Stone Gap, Va.; Rachel Nichole Goad, 34, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Curtis Louis Prior, Jr., 35, of Kingsport, Tenn.; Jennifer Mitchell, 38, Kingsport, Tenn.; Lloyd James Steed, Jr., 34, Detroit, Mich.; Gilbert Miller, 42, Kingsport, Tenn.; James Howard Poole, Jr., 39, Kingsport, Tenn.; Jarian Hamler, 31, Jonesborough, Tenn.; Joshua Clark Martin, 29, Kingsport, Tenn.; Shawn James Banks, 40, Detroit, Mich.; Marquis Cornelius Taylor, 37, Miami, Fla.; Nekia Dwayne Clark, 35, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Allen Vaughn Crews, 37, Centerville, Va.; Justin Colby Vaughn, 36, Del Ray Beach, Fla.;

Antwain Dwayne Hollinger, 33, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Adrian Jamal Cornette, 27, Wise County, Va.; Mose Devaughn White, 34, Johnson City, Tenn.; Duvale Pruitt, 37, Kingsport, Tenn.; Stephen Anthony Graham, 25, Johnson City, Tenn.; Stacy Montague White, 39, Kingsport, Tenn.; Keira Lashawn Moore, 29, Big Stone Gap, Va.; Semmaj Jarquis Taylor, 40, Dearfield Beach, Fla.; Dena Marie McGaughey, 39, Delray Beach, Fla.; and Victoria Danielle Bays, Johnson City, Tenn.

Prescription drug use is a problem in Tennessee

Drug overdose deaths in Tennessee are increasing:

The number of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased from 422 in 2001 to 1,059 in 2010; The number of drug overdose deaths in 2010 represents an increase of 250% over the 10 year time period. Includes all drug overdose deaths where the manner of death was listed as one of the following: accidental, undetermined, suicide (intentional), or homicide.

Source: Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment, Tennessee Department of Health - Death Certificates.

The top three most prescribed controlled substances in Tennessee in 2010 are:

275.5 million pills of hydrocodone (e.g., Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin);

116.6 million pills prescribed for alprazolam (e.g., Xanax: used to treat anxiety);

113.5 million pills prescribed for oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Roxicodone) Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both prescription opioids used to treat pain.

The number of drugs prescribed during 2010 to Tennesseans represents:
51 pills of hydrocodone for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12;
22 pills of alprazolam for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12;
21 pills of oxycodone for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12.

Source: Report to the 2011 General Assembly by the Tennessee Department of Health Controlled Substance Database Advisory Committee, Board of Pharmacy.

Prescription drug abuse affects everyone:

Abuse of prescription opioids is the number one drug problem for Tennesseans receiving state-funded treatment services;

Almost 250,000 Tennesseans older than 12 reported abusing prescription opioids in 2009.

Source: Treatment Episode Data Set - Admission (TEDS-A). 1999 - 2009. SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

Prescription drug abuse hits every profession and every socioeconomic level:

For those seeking state-funded treatment, people who were stable (married, employed and had at least a high school education) were 3.16 times more likely than less stable consumers to use prescription opioids than illicit drugs.

Source: Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services. Tennessee Web Information Technology System (TN WITS) Database.

Prescription drug abuse especially affects women:

While more men were admitted to treatment in 2009 than women, a higher percentage of women abuse prescription opioids;

21% of 6,827 men reported prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;

27% of 3,403 women listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;

35% of 142 pregnant women admitted to state-funded treatment services in Tennessee listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse.

Source: SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

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