Federal Indictments Unsealed In Maury & Lewis County Drug Distribution And Conspiracies

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

NASHVILLE – A lengthy investigation by federal and local law enforcement has resulted in the indictment of 22 individuals for illegally distributing substantial amounts of controlled substances in and around the areas of Maury County and Lewis County, Tennessee.  The last of three federal indictments returned last month was unsealed yesterday, and all but one charged defendant have been taken into custody.

In making the announcement, U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin, joined by Douglas Korneski, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division, and DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville Division, J. Todd Scott, commended the investigative work of the agencies involved and noted the high level of cooperation and participation by local law enforcement agencies, all of which contributed substantially to the investigation resulting in the indictments. 

The first indictment charges the following 14 individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana, between March 2018 and September 2019:

Julio Esparza, aka Beto, 45; Freddy Quinones, 48; and Jesus Silva, aka Barbas, 40, all of McAllen, Texas;  Brandon Dailey, aka Willie Earl, 40; Henry Davis, aka Hank, 42; Vincent Conner, aka Roe, 37; Derrick Nixon, aka Chewy, 54; Shanika Odom, aka Butterball, 31; Terry Strayhorn, aka Goldie Mac, 41; and Samuel Abernathy, 44, all of Mount Pleasant, Tenn.; Brent Burns, aka Smiley, 38; and Tristen Tisby, aka Jolly, 29, both of Columbia, Tenn.; and Tory Hardison, 27; and Carson Lunn, 24, both of Pulaski, Tenn. 

The second indictment charges the following seven individuals with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute controlled substances, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana, between October 2017 and November 2020:

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Michael Sowell, aka Mac Black, 37; Frank Sparkman, aka Chucky, 40; Antonio Sowell, aka Premo, 37; Tanasha Vaughn, aka Nesha, 22, all of Hohenwald, Tenn.; Charles Lowe-Kelley, aka White Chaz, 30, of Columbia, Tenn.; and Darron Weakley, aka Snype Lucas, 35; and Antonio Laster, aka Lil Memphis, 31, both of Nashville, Tenn. 

This indictment also charges Michael Sowell and Antonio Sowell with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

A third indictment charges Keadrick Duke, aka Kebe, 40, of Columbia, Tenn., with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine in November 2018. 

Jesus Silva remains at large and is currently being sought by federal law enforcement officials.


The charges carry sentences of between five years and life in prison. 

This case is the result of a multi-agency investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Columbia Police Department; the Hohenwald Police Department; the Spring Hill Police Department; and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert S. Levine and Nani Gilkerson are prosecuting these cases. 

An indictment is merely an accusation.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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