FBI Memphis
Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Clement-Webb
December 28, 2023

FBI Memphis Field Office Fiscal Year 2023 Investigative and Intelligence Successes

As we head into 2024, I think it’s valuable to hear directly from us about the work we are doing in Middle and West Tennessee.

The FBI’s jurisdiction encompasses more than 200 categories of federal law, and 2023 was no exception in the drive to accomplish our mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

The dedicated professionals of the FBI Memphis Field Office, which covers 54 counties in Tennessee, continue to be committed to partnerships with local, state, and other federal agencies, the private sector, and the communities we serve.

Our work has led to notable successes for our entire territory, spanning from Memphis to Cookeville, in fiscal year 2023. Our Violent Crimes Against Children Squads arrested 19 individuals, secured indictments for more than 20 people, and located 42 children, with dozens of sentences ranging from 10 years to 45 years in federal prison.

In other accomplishments, throughout 2023:

  • In West Tennessee, our Child Exploitation Task Force identified and rescued eight child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation by Randy Dean Dannis who was ultimately sentenced to 440 years incarceration subsequent to pleading guilty to eight counts of production and attempted production of child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography.
  • Our Violent Crimes Squads arrested more than 10 bank robbers and more than 14 Hobbs Act offenders. In addition, we secured more than 22 convictions for bank robbery offenses and more than 18 convictions for Hobbs Act offenses.
  • Prevented loss of over $2,000,000 because of the financial fraud kill chain implemented by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and local field office intervention.
  • In support of the priority the U.S. Department of Justice places on Elder Justice, the Nashville Financial Crimes Squad, in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, led a successful two-week jury trial and conviction of an 2 exterminator who befriended an aged client with dementia (now deceased). Over the course of about two years, he helped himself to over $1,200,000 of the money she had saved over the course of her life.
  • The Memphis Financial Crimes Squad disrupted a group targeting primarily elderly individuals through various confidence fraud scams totaling nearly $10,000,000 with the indictment and arrest of five subjects residing both inside and outside the United States.
  • A two-week trial convicted a public official who sexually harassed, assaulted, and raped dozens of women over the course of 10+ years while serving as their boss. This individual chose vulnerable women who were recovering drug addicts, convicted felons, and poor, single moms who were working for a low wage or to work off court fees in a recycling center. This individual was sentenced to 17 years of federal incarceration.
  • The Memphis Health Care Fraud Squad disrupted a group involved in improperly accessing and selling patient records through six indictments, arrests, and convictions.
  • The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Nashville deployed in support of 20+ special events which had over 1,000,000 combined individuals in attendance.
  • The Weapons of Mass Destruction program was a key advisor in the 2023 Dense Urban Terrain exercise. This exercise was the largest joint training exercise in Tennessee since World War II.
  • Responded to multiple White Powder Letters alongside state and local partners which led to the prosecution of multiple subjects of interest.
  • The Tarnished Badge and Civil Rights Task Forces secured a four-count indictment of five former Memphis Police Department Officers for deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to witness tamper, and obstruction of justice for the use of excessive force on Tyre Nichols which resulted in his death.
  • Former Tennessee State Senator for the 31st Senatorial District, Brian Kelsey, was sentenced to 21 months incarceration following his conviction for conspiracy to defraud the United States and aiding and abetting the acceptance of excessive contributions resulting from his scheme to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act.
  • We also continued supporting our area's local, state, and federal partners throughout many investigations, but most notably, The Covenant School shooting, in March 2023.

Additionally, Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST) analysis led to the following outcomes:

  • Recovery of the remains of Eliza Fletcher
  • Identified a serial rapist targeting children in Memphis
  • Safe recovery of a one-year-old in Nashville
  • Recovery of six missing children
  • Recovery of one endangered adult
  • Location of 29 fugitives wanted for homicide/drug trafficking/violent crimes
  • Location of three hands-on sex offenders
  • Seizure of approximately 100 kilograms of narcotics 3

These examples make up a fraction of the impactful success in our territory throughout fiscal year 2023, and I’m proud of my team and the work they do every day for the American people. This work is conducted with partner agencies, community partners, enabled by supportive FBI headquarters leadership, collaboration with other FBI field offices, and focused on achieving justice for victims. We are honored and humbled to serve alongside them and remain steadfast in our joint commitment to all Tennesseans.

Douglas S. DePodesta
Special Agent in Charge
FBI Memphis Field Office