They used contraband jail phones to arrange the purchase and delivery of illegal drugs, according to Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich in a July 19 press release.
Defendants Jason White, 36, and Kristina Cole, 43, were convicted of conspiring to unlawfully possess a controlled substance with intent to sell and deliver over 300 grams of methamphetamine in a drug-free school zone. Cole also was convicted of two other related drug counts.
The Criminal Court jury convicted defendant Montez Mullins, 32, of facilitation of conspiring to unlawfully possess a controlled substance with intent to sell and deliver over 300 grams of methamphetamine in a drug-free school zone. He is classified as a career criminal offender.
All remain in custody and will be sentenced Aug. 25 by Judge Bobby Carter.
Investigators said the three conspired to have a large shipment of methamphetamine sent by commercial carrier in February 2016 from California to a Bartlett address in the 2500 block of Jenwood. That address is within 1,000 feet of Raleigh-Bartlett Elementary School.
Authorities in California notified Bartlett Police Department of the package and its tracking number after learning that the sender paid $90 to overnight the package, which the sender claimed to contain baby clothes.
After California officials confirmed that the package contained about one pound of suspected methamphetamine – and one baby outfit – Bartlett Police Department Narcotics Unit officers made a controlled delivery of the package to the Jenwood address, where Cole took possession of it and was arrested.
Further investigation showed that the shipment was arranged by state prison inmates White and Mullins, both members of the Violent Vice Lords. They were serving time for unrelated offenses, including White at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville and Mullins in Morgan County Correctional Complex. The men used smuggled cell phones to accomplish the purchase and delivery of the methamphetamine.
The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Chris Scruggs.