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November 9, 2021Knoxville, TN, United StatesNarcotics, Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives

HSI investigation results in multiple federal drug and firearm convictions including contributing to an overdose death

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Following a four-day jury trial in federal court, a Sevierville man was convicted of multiple drug charges involving the distribution and possession of heroin, fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl as well as illegally possessing a firearm.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet Jr. and acting U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III made the announcement on Monday.

“Removing these illegal and lethal drugs from the streets and providing evidence to obtain a conviction of this distributor likely prevented additional overdose deaths,” said HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet, Jr. “I am extremely proud of our HSI agents, working with their state and local law enforcement partners, for the results of this investigation that will make our neighborhoods safer.”

Stacey Edward Williams, Jr., 42, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl; multiple counts of possession and distribution of heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl; distribution of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl resulting in death; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that investigators with the Sevier County Street Crimes Unit used confidential informants on January, February, and November 2018, to purchase heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl from Williams. Evidence further revealed that officers and detectives with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office responded to an overdose death of a Kodak, Tennessee, resident on Thanksgiving morning in 2018. The overdose investigation determined that Williams distributed the drugs that caused that death. Finally, the prosecution also presented evidence that in March 2019, agents seized quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl, a firearm and ammunition, and over $10,000 in cash from Williams.

Sentencing will be set in 2022. Williams faces a mandatory sentence of 20 years up to life in prison as well as other penalties.

This case was prosecuted as part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS), a Department of Justice program that seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas and to identify wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers.

Law enforcement agencies involved in this joint investigation included HSI and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office with the participation and assistance of the Sevier County Street Crimes Unit, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brent N. Jones and Anne-Marie Svolto represented the United States at trial.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.

Learn more about HSI’s mission @HSI_Nashville.