Phone taps used to bust up $1 million, multi-state cocaine ring in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency used phone wire taps to track the alleged drug dealers every move.

So far, nearly 100 pounds of cocaine has been taken off the streets during this investigation. 12 people have been indicted.

Court records show the feds began investigating Timothy Woods who used semi-trucks to ship cocaine 1,000 miles from Brownsville, Texas to Memphis.

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The fed allege Woods would then sell the drugs to at least 11 people.

Court records give one example of a recorded phone conversation between Woods and another alleged drug dealer. Woods says: ‘But I know I had ticket left. I wanted to make sure. I’m gonna let somebody else get it then.”

Investigators said ticket is a term commonly used in the drug trade to reference cocaine. 5 months into their case, investigators tried arresting Woods.

During the arrest attempt, Woods crashed his car into a D.E.A. car.

He then ran into a wooded area with two big bags and got away. Agents found the two bags the next day with a bunch of coke and $195,000 in cash.

Woods was found and arrested the next day. Agents then focused part of their investigation around Rickey Dortch.

Just this week, they seized nearly $40,000 from a local bank account they claim was earned from selling cocaine.

The bank account had the address to an Orang Mound house linked to it. Officials said it was his parent’s house.

No one answered when we knocked on Friday.

Dortch is accused of using a janitorial business to launder the drug money.

The business has no address and is not registered with the state.

Court records show some of Dortch’s bank withdrawals. He took out $6,000 on May 9, 2017, the same day the feds wire tapped a phone conversation claiming Dortch talked about drugs.

They claimed Dortch got that money to buy cocaine.

The U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Tennessee said, “Asset forfeiture is an important tool to combat drug cartels and drug trafficking organizations, and we will use it aggressively, frequently, and unapologetically.”