Vice Lords face federal prosecution
By Karen Hall
A Franklin man charged with selling cocaine in Lewisburg has been turned over to federal authorities for prosecution.
Torreon Mortirez "Tory" Otey, 23, was indicted Sept. 19 by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee on charges of distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute it.
"I think it's a serious blow to the dealers here in Marshall County," said Sheriff Norman Dalton. "It's a good deterrent because federal time is day-for-day; there's no probation."
Otey was already in jail, indicted on charges of sale and delivery of cocaine to a confidential informant working for the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force in March 2011.
Another jail inmate who received a federal indictment was Ray Anthony Ussery, 56, of 2nd Avenue North. He's charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.
At his trial in October 2011, the prosecution alleged Ussery was near the top of a gang distributing cocaine in Lewisburg, and Dalton confirmed this. "It's the Vice Lords gang," Dalton said. "That's what I'm being told by the Drug Task Force."
Earlier this year, two other alleged Vice Lord members were served with federal indictments at Marshall County Jail.
They were Jikinte Lashane "Kinte" Morris, 33, of Nashville, and Wayne "June-B" Hampton Jr., 45, of College Street.
Morris' role in the distribution of cocaine was confirmed to leaders of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force in September 2011, when Director Tim Lane and Assistant Director Tim Miller interviewed Otey at Marshall County Jail. According to a summary of that interview in his case file, Otey said a woman introduced him to Morris at the Soul Train Bar and he soon began buying "ounce quantities of crack cocaine from Morris for $1,000 per ounce." He did this every week or two for about seven months. Morris would also front multiple ounces of crack to Otey, but this had to be repaid at $1,200 per ounce, according to Miller's account of the interview.
Otey's relationship with Morris became strained, he told Miller and Lane, when he also began to buy cocaine from Sharod "C-Moe" Moore, 29, of East Berkley Circle.
Moore is currently jailed in Bedford County. He was arrested in August as a suspect in the murder of Ronald Shelton in January 2011.
Dalton said he understood Morris had made, or was about to make, a plea in his federal case. Another alleged Vice Lord who will be indicted, according to Dalton, is Devario D. McFarland, 33. McFarland was sentenced here in December 2011 and is incarcerated in a Tennessee penitentiary.