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Eight gang members convicted on drug, firearm and money laundering charges

Officials said that the defendants face various sentences, including life in prison and $10 million in fines.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A federal jury convicted eight gang members of drug, firearm and money laundering charges on Friday. Authorities said they face various amounts of prison times, including life in prison, and may face fines of up to $10 million.

Alim Turner, 23, Ushery Stewart, 22, Ronald Turner, 25, Kedaris Gilmore, 23, Mahlon Prater Jr., 25 and Trevor Cox, 22, all of Knoxville, were charged with conspiring to distribute drugs. Those drugs included methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, oxycodone and other opioids. A Chattanooga man also faces the same charges, Demetrius Bibbs, 29.

Another man, Jyshon Forbes, 27, was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Several people were also charged with owning guns while drug trafficking as well as unlawful possession of guns.

Police said that seven of the men are members of the "Uknown Ghost Vice Lords" in Knoxville. Another man is also a member of the "Black P Stone Bloods" in Chattanooga, officials said.

During the two-week trial, authorities said that the Vice Lords gang had distributed kilograms of meth and other drugs in the Knoxville and Chattanooga areas.

All eight defendants were tried together. According to court documents, seven people previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy. Sentencing hearings for them all will be set for early 2022, according to a release from federal officials.

"By bringing addictive and deadly drugs into our area, these drug trafficking organizations are directly responsible for unimaginable tragedies and senseless violence that fragments families and destabilizes communities," said Eve Thomas, Chief of Police for Knoxville.

This conviction of Knoxville and Chattanooga gang members is a result of the collaborative commitment to make our...

Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Friday, July 23, 2021