Blakemore Gets 23-Year Prison Term For Selling Heroin That Caused Death Of Red Bank Man

Monday, May 21, 2018
Darius Blakemore
Darius Blakemore
Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday sentenced Darius Jermaine Blakemore to 23 years in federal prison for selling heroin to a Red Bank man who overdosed and died.
 
Blakemore, 29, had gone to trial on the case, but it was announced in the middle of the trial that both sides had agreed to the 23-year term. Blakemore had faced 30 years to life.
 
Blakemore pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in death, distribution of heroin resulting in death, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
 
 
According to his plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court and proof presented at his trial, in February 2016 Blakemore sold a gram of heroin to Jessica Rachels in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Chattanooga.  After Ms. Rachels arrived at the McDonald’s parking lot, Blakemore gave the heroin to one of his runners, Joshua Corbett, who delivered the heroin to Ms. Rachels.  She gave a portion of the heroin she received from Corbett to Logan Whiteaker, 24, of Red Bank, who drove her to purchase the drugs. 
 
A family member found Whiteaker dead the next morning on the bathroom floor of his Red Bank residence with a hypodermic needle clutched in his hand.  A container on the bathroom counter had .64 grams of heroin inside.  Whiteaker had graduated from Hamilton County Drug Court less than 24 hours prior to his death.   
 
Ms. Rachels and Corbett were also charged with distribution of heroin resulting in death.  Like Blakemore, both pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin resulting in death and were each sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.  Upon their release, they will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years as will Blakemore.
 
“Heroin has proven to be a deadly poison that does not discriminate,” said J. Douglas Overbey, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Tennessee. “Its victims span gender, race, age, and economic background, and its debilitating effects are the same across all demographics.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin deaths have now surpassed gun homicides.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not stand idle as the death toll continues to rise.  We will use all of the tools available to us to hold drug dealers like Blakemore accountable for their actions,” added U.S. Attorney Overbey. 
 
Federal law provides enhanced penalties for drug dealers who distribute controlled substances that lead to overdose deaths, including a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence.
 
John McGarry, Resident Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Chattanooga, said, ”The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and their Task Force partners from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Red Bank Police Department, Chattanooga Police Department, and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will investigate and pursue overdose deaths in Southeast Tennessee to the fullest extent of the law.   The sentencing of Darius Blakemore stands as an example of this coalition’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable elements of our community from the persistent threat of heroin.”
 
Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation that led to the charges in this case include the Drug Enforcement Administration, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Chattanooga Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Red Bank Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Porter and Scott Winne represented the United States in court proceedings. 


Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click  here  for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com. In addition, ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s So Sad For Me

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been as saddened by such a travesty that has now erupted in the confirmation process that would place Brett Kavanaugh on our Supreme Court. I am sad for every single person who has been touched by this catastrophe, from 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein to Brett’s wife and two young daughters, ages 13 and 10. Not a person, in any way involved, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Holds On To Beat Samford, 27-20

The Samford Bulldogs may have won the battle, but the Chattanooga Mocs won the war. Facing each other in a key Southern Conference football battle at Finley Stadium Saturday night, the Mocs had their hands full, but were able to pull out an important victory by a final score of 27-20 before 10,469 fans. The Bulldogs entered the game on a two-game losing streak, but were leading ... (click for more)

No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs Battles Missouri For A Tough 43-29 Victory Saturday

COLUMBIA, Mo. —   There's more than one way to win a game, more than one way to score, more than one way to, in Georgia football coach  Kirby Smart 's oft-repeated words, attack the day. The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs got out of Columbia, Mo., with a win Saturday  before 58,284 at Faurot Field  in large part because of how they attacked the ball. ... (click for more)