A 16-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Nashville was unsealed Friday, charging nine Cookeville-area defendants with various counts of conspiring to possess and distribute crack cocaine and marijuana; using, carrying, brandishing and discharging firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking crimes; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; sale of a firearm to a convicted felon; and possession of an illegal sawed-off shotgun. The indictment charged the following defendants, all of Cookeville, Tennessee:
James Troy Tabor, 20;
Patti Jessica Hall, 22;
Keith Patrick Doherty, Jr., 21;
James Michael Casey O’Howell, 19;
Timothy James Neill, Jr. 25;
Dallas Allen, 50;
Daniel M. Elrod, 22;
Nepthali Damian Dachoute, 21; and
Ryan Jaeger, 21.
Defendants Tabor, Hall, Dachoute, Jaeger and Elrod were arrested Friday morning by local, state and federal law enforcement officers. The remaining defendants are currently in state custody.
“The safe and successful arrests today were the culmination of a collective effort between federal and local law enforcement to target violence and the drug trafficking activity which fuels such violence,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Memphis Division, Amy S. Hess. “It’s our goal to disrupt and dismantle organizations like these through cooperation with our partner agencies in order to protect our communities and ensure justice is served.”
“Gun crime, drug trafficking and related violence makes communities fearful that they may become the next victim. Fortunately, intense investigations like this one make all the difference,” stated ATF SAC Glenn Anderson. “Illegal firearm possession and drug trafficking are a detriment to any neighborhood. ATF and our law enforcement partners will continue working investigations like this and hold suspected offenders accountable. Today, residents in the Putnam County area can rest a little easier.”
District Attorney General Randy York stated, “My office stands ready to pool our investigative and prosecutorial resources with our federal partners in order to ensure that justice is appropriately served when this caliber of criminals want to set up shop in our community. We will continue our collective efforts to rid this criminal behavior from our communities.”
The various offenses charged carry maximum penalties of between10 years and life in prison and fines of $250,000 to $1million, if convicted. The case was investigated by the FBI, the Cookeville Police Department’s Community Nuisance Eradication Team, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division, the 13th Judicial District’s Attorney’s Office, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, with assistance by the U. S. Marshals and the Overton County Sheriff’s Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent A. Hannafan.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants have the right to a trial at which the government would have to bear the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.