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September 21, 2021Cordova, TN, United StatesNarcotics

Joint state, local and ICE HSI investigation leads to large fentanyl seizure

CORDOVA, Tenn. – A joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and state and local law enforcement, resulted in an arrest and seizure of over two pounds of fentanyl in Shelby County, Tennessee.

“The discovery and seizure of fentanyl ultimately saves lives,” said HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet, Jr. “HSI, working with our local and state law enforcement partners in this investigation, ensured that this deadly substance was not distributed within our communities and thus stopped a significant threat to public safety.”

HSI Memphis, the Drug Investigation Division of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit conducted the investigation, which began in August 2021.

The fentanyl, with an estimated street value of $110,000, was seized during the execution of a state search warrant at the home of an individual suspected of selling large amounts of the illegal narcotic. An additional unknown white powder, a weapon and cash were also seized during the search.

Darius Harshaw, 35, of Cordova, Tennessee, was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent felony and unlawful possession of a weapon. He was booked into the Shelby County Jail on a $150,000 bond.

“Last year, Tennessee experienced a significant increase in overdose deaths. Fentanyl or fentanyl in combination with other drugs was the primary culprit responsible for those deaths,” said TBI Assistant Director for the Drug Investigation Division Darryl Richardson. “The health and safety of our Tennessee communities is a top priority for TBI, which is why we work tirelessly with our district attorney offices and local and federal partners to target drug traffickers such as this.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with agents from the TBI and the Memphis Homeland Security Investigation office,” said Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. “By working together, we are able to make a larger impact and remove these dangerous drugs from our community streets.”

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.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 09/22/2021