Leader of Violent Drug Distribution Ring Sentenced to More Than 20 Years in Prison
Brice N. Marchbanks a/k/a Bear, 32, of Nashville, Tennessee, was sentenced yesterday to more than 20 years in federal prison for his role as the leader of a long- running, violent crime and drug distribution conspiracy, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Marchbanks was convicted of all charges against him, including drug conspiracy, maintaining a drug house, possessing firearms in furtherance of drug crimes, and distributing drugs to a 14 year-old, after a week-long jury trial in September 2014. Senior Judge John T. Nixon sentenced Marchbanks to the maximum allowed under the federal sentencing guideline range, to reflect the seriousness of the crimes and to protect the public.
Marchbanks’ drug operation was uncovered as part of an investigation into various Rollin’ 60 Crips gang members who were committing armed robberies of suspected drug dealers, under the belief that the crimes would not be investigated fully and that the targeted victims would not cooperate with law enforcement.
According to the proof at trial, Marchbanks was the target of such a robbery by other gang members and was in fact shot during that robbery. When questioned by police, Marchbanks falsely claimed that the robbery was not drug-related. The investigation, however, showed that Marchbanks was running a drug house in the Creekwood Drive area of Nashville and was using armed minors to guard the house.
The trial also included proof that Marchbanks wrongly suspected another Rollin’ 60 Crips gang member of having participated in that robbery, and solicited the murder of that person. A 15 year- old and a person who is still unidentified then shot the gang member whom they suspected. The wounded gang member survived and the investigation determined that he was not involved in the robbery of Marchbanks.
Marchbanks is the final defendant to be tried in the case, which began in 2009 and resulted in more than 30 defendants being charged with drug crimes, firearms and other offenses. All of the defendants in this case have now been convicted, including more than five gang members who held the status of “OG” (“Original Gangsta”), the highest rank available in Tennessee.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the ATF and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Sunny A.M. Koshy and Louis Crisostomo prosecuted the case.