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3 get stiff prison terms for drug conspiracy in SCS school zone

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Three people have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a drug conspiracy that took place in a school zone in Bartlett city limits. The three included one who orchestrated the operation by using a contraband cell phone from his Nashville prison, according to Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich on Friday.
The case involved a shipment of methamphetamine sent in February 2016 via FedEx from Visalia, Calif., to an address in the 2500 block of Jenwood Street in Bartlett. That destination is just 235 feet from an elementary school, making the drug offense a violation of the Drug Free School Zone Act.
Although the DA’s press release doesn’t specify the name of the school, maps show that Raleigh-Bartlett Meadows Elementary, which is part of the Shelby County Schools district, is adjacent to Jenwood Street.
An investigation showed that Kristina Cole, 43, lived at the residence, accepted delivery of the drug package and then texted her imprisoned boyfriend a message reading, “Package arrived.” She was sentenced to 13 and one-half years in prison, with her sentence to be served day-for-day.
Her boyfriend, Jason Lamar White, 36, called her several times about the package while Bartlett police officers — who had received a tip from California authorities — were executing a search warrant at the home. White sent his brother to the house to investigate why she didn’t answer.
White was using a contraband cell phone while housed the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, where he was already serving time for several violent offenses. He was sentenced to 60 years, a term that must be served day-for-day with no parole because he is a career offender.
A third defendant, Montez Mullins, 32, also known as Montez James, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for facilitating the drug conspiracy. He must serve at least 60 percent before he can be considered for parole.
Mullins’s sentence is to be served consecutively to the 70-year term he is serving for a series of aggravated robbery convictions from 2011. Mullins contended that Cole and White knew nothing of the drug delivery. He also said that a Hispanic inmate he met on the prison yard at the Morgan County Correctional Center gave him $500 for a good address in Memphis. Mullins said he told Cole — also by contraband cell phone — that the FedEx package contained jewelry intended for his mother.
Introduction of a cell phone into prison is a felony in Tennessee, but there is no law against an inmate being in possession of a cell phone.
Weirich said, “Cell phones are prevalent in prisons across the state and are frequently used by inmates to run drug operations and carry out violent crimes outside of prison. For several years, the Tennessee District Attorney Generals Conference has tried to change that. We will attempt again in 2018 to get legislation passed to criminalize the possession of cell phones by inmates.”
The DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit case handled the case in Criminal Court.

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