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Operation Triple Beam: 126 violent offenders, gang members arrested in Hamilton County

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A 3-month-long law enforcement effort focused on reducing violent gang crime in Hamilton County has ended, with dozens of offenders taken into custody.

The U.S. Marshals Office released a statement Tuesday about Operation Triple Beam (OTB), a joint effort with Chattanooga PD, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Some folks said they can rest a bit easier knowing some of these offenders are off the streets.

“Knowing that we're leaving our home and them going to school, it's often a concern - will they come home safely, or will we be faced with any type of violence in the nearby area?" said Kimberly Cothren, a Chattanooga mother of two.

Cothren says she is thankful to the U.S. Marshal's Operation Triple Beam and the work put in by officials like Deputy U.S. Marshal Paul Salayko.

"Operation Triple Beam is a lot more than just numbers. Operation Triple Beam is the federal, state, and local guys all getting together, being able to work together for a common good," said Salayko.

Salayko said this operation was a different solution to combating crime, because several agencies worked together to tackle the issue head on.

The following narrative is from the USMS statement:

"During OTB, the USMS, along with their task force partners seized multiple guns, a variety of narcotics including amphetamine, and closed 130 warrants. These 126 arrests represent violent offenders and criminal gang members in our community wanted for charges including murder, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, and assorted drug charges.

In 2010, the USMS identified gangs as a priority within its violent crime reduction strategy and made a commitment to reinvigorate its gang enforcement efforts. As a result, OTB was created with an emphasis on three main areas: fugitive investigations; targeted firearm and drug investigations (the tools of the trade for gang members); and proactive street investigations and patrols. Communities are made safer by this unique cooperative relationship with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to locate and apprehend the criminals most responsible for crime and violence in those communities. Since 2010, the USMS has led more than 50 counter-gang operations across the country, which have yielded over 8,000 arrests and the seizure of more than 1,800 illegal firearms.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee fully supports Operation Triple Beam and the efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service, in cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, to remove these violent criminals from the streets and help make the neighborhoods a safer place to live for the citizens of this district,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.

OTB Chattanooga Highlights

  • Seven guns seized
  • 126 arrests / 130 warrants cleared
  • 1.526kg of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and marijuana were seized from multiple locations.

OTB Chattanooga Notable Arrests

Subject: Antonio Clements

Charges: *Gang Member – Gangster Disciple* Possession of Marijuana for Resale, Theft of Property, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony.

On October 31, 2018, the OTB Task Force developed information that Clements was staying at a local address. Clements was observed at the residence, and was taken into custody. A search warrant was issued for the residence since information was developed that guns and drugs were possibly inside. A Taurus .357 was located inside the residence along with an unspecified amount of pills. Clements was transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking.

Subject: Maurice Davis

Charges: Four counts of rape of a child.

Maurice Davis was indicted on four counts of rape of a child. The alleged incidents involved a child between the ages of four and twelve. Davis has an extensive criminal record, including a charge of attempted first-degree murder in 2008. He received a suspended eight-year prison sentence in that case.

On November 18, 2018, the OTB Task Force converged at a 28th Street address in an attempt to locate Maurice Davis on the above indictments. He was observed entering the residence. He was taken into custody and was transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking.

Subject: Keontae Bush

Charges: Attempted First Degree Murder, Domestic Assault, Reckless Endangerment, and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Dangerous Felony.

Keontae Bush was facing charges after his ex-girlfriend said he fired a gun at her and then ran her off the road on Interstate 75.

On December 11, 2018, the OTB Task Force along with Chattanooga Police Department Fugitive Investigators, developed information that Bush was at the residence of his child’s mother. He was located inside the residence, and taken into custody. He was transported to the Hamilton County Jail for booking.

Subjects: Two Juveniles

Charges: Escape – Bradley County, Tennessee – Carjacking – Chattanooga

On November 2, 2018, two minors escaped the Bradley County Juvenile Detention Center by climbing a fence. On November 5, 2018, the OTB Task Force received information from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office that both escapees were possibly in Chattanooga at a hotel near Hamilton Place Mall. The OTB Task Force worked through the night attempting to locate the juveniles. At approximately 6:00 a.m. on November 6, 2018, an armed carjacking occurred at a local motel. A 13-year-old victim was getting belongings out of a vehicle when he was approached by two young men. The 13-year-old was forced to give the two gunmen the keys to the car. Information developed that the car was located off Exit 328 in Dalton, Georgia. The OTB Task Force along with the Chattanooga Police Department Fugitive Unit went to the area and located the vehicle at a gas station. The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office was contacted, and responded. Both suspects were taken into custody on the parking lot of the gas station without incident. They were transported to the Whitfield County Juvenile Detention Center. The identity of the two subjects has been withheld due to their age.

Subject: Dominique Collins

Charges: Attempted First Degree Murder, Violation of Supervised Release – Crack Cocaine

A local man got into an argument with a Circle K employee who stated she was going to call someone. Police said she called her son (Collins) as the man called police. The man said he was outside waiting for police to arrive when a white SUV pulled up. He said Collins asked him a question, then pulled out a pistol and shot him in the chest. The man picked Collins from a photo lineup and Collins was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Top 10 Most Wanted list.

On November 28, 2018, the OTB Task Force developed information that Collins was in the Lynchburg, Virginia area. On November 30, 2018, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Lynchburg Police Department went to Langhorne Road, Lynchburg, Virginia. Task force members knocked and announced upon arrival. Collins exited the rear of the residence and jumped from the second story balcony. Collins was apprehended after a brief foot pursuit. He was transported to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.

Subjects: Dwight Turner Jr.

Charges: Two Counts of Vehicular Homicide, Aggravated Assault

Dwight Turner Jr. is a suspect involved in a traffic crash in which two people were killed on January 3, 2019. Through investigation, the Chattanooga Police Department’s Traffic Unit determined Turner was the driver of the Dodge Ram that struck a Chrysler TWC at 1400 South Holtzclaw Avenue. In addition to two people being killed, another person was critically injured as a result of the crash.

On January 14, 2019, the OTB Task Force developed information that Turner was staying at an address in Austell, GA. On January 15, 2019, the South East Regional Task Force arrested Turner in Austell, GA."

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