Feds Indict Five Jackson Men on Drug Charges

— The U.S. Attorney's Office just released the following statement. One of the men, Terrence Womack, was close to former Mayor Frank Melton and was accused of being a member of the "Greyhead" organization. In 2006 in then-Judge Bobby DeLaughter's courtroom, Womack was acquitted, alongside Corey Redd, Aundre Mason, Elisha Moten and Darnell Turner, of the 2004 kidnapping and aggravated assault of Michael Sanders. Local media often referred to the men as the "Grayhead Gang," as did Frank Melton during his mayoral campaign.

Womack attended Melton's federal trial for ordering the destruction of a Ridgeway Street duplex in support of the mayor. This is a verbatim statement about the arrests:

Jackson, Miss – Five individuals have been indicted on various drug charges as the result of an extensive investigation targeting illegal narcotics distribution in the City of Jackson dubbed “Operation Paperchase”, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen. Four were arrested on Wednesday and made initial appearances in federal court today:

Booker Tarvin, a/k/a Shanky, 36, of Jackson, is charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine. His trial is scheduled for October 1, 2012, before U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette.

Willie James Williams, a/k/a Big Bug, a/k/a Chill, 34, of Jackson, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. His trial is scheduled for October 1, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.

Herman Recardo Cline, 35, of Jackson, is charged in with one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base (“crack”) and one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison and a $10 million fine. His trial is scheduled for October 1, 2012, before U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette.

Terrence Lamont Womack, a/k/a, Fella, a/k/a Rock, 36, of Jackson, is charged with three counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and two counts of possession with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base (“crack”). If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 140 years in prison and a $13 million fine. His trial is scheduled for October 1, 2012 before U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.

The above-named individuals were arrested on August 1, when a multi-agency team executed search warrants and seizure warrants. Three vehicles, two houses, over $9,000 in United States Currency and a quantity of marijuana were seized.

The fifth individual, Julian Michael Thompson, 32, of Jackson, has not yet been arrested. He is charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base (“crack”). If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison and a $10 million fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Gulf Coast HIDTA Group, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Jackson Police Department and Pearl Police Department.

A criminal indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. That charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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