Cocke County Men Indicted for Racketeering
Criminal Enterprise Involved Chop Shops, Motor Vehicle Thefts, Insurance Fraud, and Drug Trafficking
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 16, 2009|
GREENEVILLE, TN—On June 9, 2009, a federal grand jury in Greeneville indicted sixteen men and seven women for charges including conducting a racketeering enterprise, racketeering conspiracy, operation of a chop shop, interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles and property, receipt of stolen motor vehicles, altering identification numbers on motor vehicles and parts, trafficking in motor vehicles with altered identification numbers, and conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Charged in the thirty-six count indictment are:
- RAYMOND EDDIE HAWK, age 55, of Newport, Tennessee;
- THOMAS GRANT WILLIAMS, age 33, of Newport, Tennessee;
- JAMES ALFRED SISK, age 46, of Newport, Tennessee;
- ERIC SCOTT WILLIAMS, age 31, of Newport, Tennessee;
- MILBURN THOMAS WILLIAMS, age 61, of Newport, Tennessee;
- ROBECCA NICOLE HAWK, age 28, of Newport, Tennessee;
- CURTIS GENE REED, age 40, of Newport, Tennessee;
- DARRELL KEITH BURGIN, age 39, of Del Rio, Tennessee;
- TIMOTHY WADE CHRISMAN, age 50, of Newport, Tennessee;
- DOYLE MALOY, age 60, of Cosby, Tennessee;
- ANGELA DENISE BROWN, age 29, of Newport, Tennessee;
- KALEP A. HANEY, age 20, of Newport, Tennessee;
- KIMBERLY DAWN ATKINS, age 25, of Newport, Tennessee;
- MARGIE EUNAVEE BARNES, also known as MARGIE MASON and MARGIE SHROPSHIRE, age 45, of Newport, Tennessee;
- JOSE ELPIDIO CABRERA, age 31, of Newport, Tennessee;
- JEANNIE DAWN JAMES also known as JEANNIE CALDWELL, age 40, of Newport, Tennessee;
- GERALD LYNN JONES, age 57, of Newport, Tennessee;
- CALVIN D. IVEY, age 44, of Newport, Tennessee;
- ROGER W. MILLER, age 60, of Dandridge, Tennessee;
- JOSHUA VAUGHN BURGIN, age 29, of Del Rio, Tennessee;
- BRIAN D. ASKEW, age 38, of Newport, Tennessee;
- FELICIA DARLENE STEWART, age 39, of Newport, Tennessee; and
- BRENDA L. BROWN, age 41, of Newport, Tennessee.
The indictment charges Raymond Hawk, Grant Williams, his brother Eric Williams, and James Sisk, also known as “Red,” with conducting a racketeering enterprise centered around Hawk’s automobile and recycling business in Newport known as “H-1 Auto” and later “A Automotive.” Hawk and Grant Williams are alleged to have been leaders in the racketeering enterprise, which involved the operation of a chop shop and other motor vehicle theft offenses as well as insurance fraud and drug distribution. Eric Williams and Sisk are alleged to be members of the criminal organization. The indictment lists fifteen “racketeering acts” occurring between March 2003 and April 2009, to include interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and property, arson, obstruction of justice, trafficking in motor vehicles and parts with altered identification numbers, and drug trafficking.
In addition to the racketeering charges, the four men are also charged along with Milburn Williams, a retired captain with the Newport Police Department, Nicole Hawk, Reed, Darrell Burgin, Chrisman, Maloy, and Denise Brown with participating in the operation of a chop shop.
Stewart and Askew are charged with participating in insurance fraud schemes in which they falsely reported their vehicles as having been stolen when the vehicles had in fact been turned over to Hawk and Grant Williams.
Charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine are Raymond Hawk, Grant Williams, Eric Williams, Sisk, Nicole Hawk, Haney, Atkins, Barnes, Cabrera, James Jones, Ivey, and Miller. Nicole Hawk is also charged with distributing crack cocaine three occasions, while Grant Williams is charged with distributing cocaine on three occasions. Grant Williams, Raymond Hawk, Sisk Eric Williams, Nicole Hawk, Haney Atkins, and Joshua Burgin are also charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana.
Among other property, the indictment seeks forfeiture of the residences of Raymond Hawk and Grant Williams as well as the property where Hawk conducted his chop shop.
FBI agents, along with agents and officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, fanned out across Cocke County today as they began arresting persons charged in the indictment. Initial appearances began this morning and continued throughout the day before United States Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman in Greeneville. After initial appearances, sixteen defendants were released on bond. Three defendants were detained with detention hearings scheduled for Wednesday and Friday.
Penalties for the charged offenses range from five to up to forty years imprisonment with fines of from $250,000 to $2,000,000. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of both real and personal property used in the commission of the offenses.
United States Attorney Russ Dedrick praised the investigative efforts and leadership of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of other state and local agencies, including the Cocke County Sheriff's Department. Dedrick said “The United States Attorney’s Office will use every tool available to combat such organized criminal activity in our District. The protection of our citizens and their property from such criminals and their activities is a top priority. The Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations statute (RICO) is a tool designed to break the back of criminal organizations such as the one charged in this indictment.”
FBI Special Agent In Charge Richard Lambert said “When criminal enterprises prey upon our community through fraud, deceit, theft, arson, intimidation, and drug trafficking, the safety and security of every family is threatened. The FBI remains steadfastly committed to working with our state and local partners to dismantle these lawless organizations and bring their henchmen to justice. We are especially grateful to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Forest Service, the Cocke County Sheriff's Office, and the Buncombe County, North Carolina Sheriff's Office for their invaluable assistance in this important investigation.”
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
For additional information, please contact United States Attorney Russ Dedrick, 865-545-4167, Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith, 423-639-6759, or Public Information Officer Sharry Dedman-Beard, 865-545-4167.