Leader of drug organization laundered $30k in Memphis chicken restaurant, investigators say

Leader of drug organization laundered $30k in Memphis chicken restaurant, investigators say

SHELBY CO., Tenn. — A drug investigation in the Mid-South resulted in the indictments of 17 people.

The 18-month investigation found a wide-ranging organization that distributed drugs in Shelby County and parts of the Mid-South, according to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

PHOTOS: 17 indicted in Mid-South after large drug investigation

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Investigators said the leader of the drug organization, Vanrico Clayton, 31, would buy methamphetamine for $3,500 to $4,000 per pound – and then sell it for between $400 and $600 per ounce.

Clayton laundered around $30,000 by investing drug proceeds in a chicken restaurant on Mt. Moriah Ext. in Memphis, investigators said.

At least one worker was paid in meth for remodeling work he did at the restaurant.

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Included in the indictments are leaders, co-conspirators, and dealers who helped distribute the drugs throughout Shelby County and the Mid-South – ranging from Sardis, Miss. to Rutherford, Tenn.

Officials said the drugs were pre-packaged in the Frayser area before being delivered to buyers and sellers at businesses and residences by a “courier riding a bicycle.”

One raid found more than two pounds of methamphetamine stored inside a doghouse behind a residence.

The defendants were indicted on state charges of possession of 300 grams of methamphetamine with intent to sell/deliver within a school zone and possession of a firearm.

Investigators didn't identify the name of the restaurant involved in the money laundering.

These are the people indicted, according to investigators:

  • Vanrico Clayton
  • Victor Love, 43
  • Jesse Callahan, 34
  • Victor Lewis, 19
  • Jameka Ward, 38
  • Roger Qualls, 51
  • Wayne Gunter, 31
  • Peter Larkin, 38
  • James Stacy Floyd, 44
  • Paula Reno-Miller (aka Paula Woods), 42
  • Katrina Jones (aka Katie Jones), 32
  • Preston Garner, 35
  • Damon Brunner, 48
  • Ashley Mathis, 26
  • Andrew Harris, 33
  • Brandon Akin, 33
  • Gary Riley, 41