Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 23, 2012

Two plead to charges from drug raid

By Michael R. Moser

CROSSVILLE — Two Cumberland County men charged in a 2010 state and county drug raid during which stolen items, marijuana and a grenade launcher were seized, and in which an indictment against property was handed down, entered guilty pleas in Cumberland County Criminal Court.

Mikell Tony Tasker, 57, of Glade Creek Rd., pleaded guilty to three counts of sale of marijuana and received a two-year suspended sentence to be served on judicial diversion. This will allow Tasker to have the charges removed from his record if he successfully completes all the terms of his probation.

If he fails to meet all the state's requirements, he will not have the benefit of another hearing and will face having his probation revoked and serving the two years.

Co-defendant Thomas Allen Lansford, 30, charged with three counts of sale of marijuana, pleaded guilty simple possession of marijuana and was fined $250 and court costs. He received an 11-month and 29-day suspended sentenced to be supervised by the state.

The indictment, handed down in November of 2010, also included a judicial forfeiture of property — the first such indictment in Cumberland County where property was charged in connection with a crime. However, the District Attorney's Office was forced to dismiss that part of the indictment because of a loophole in the law.

District Attorney Randy York is said to be working with the legislature to correct the flaw.

Cumberland County sheriff's investigators, accompanied by a TBI agent, executed a search warrant on Tasker's property located near the intersection of Glade Creek Rd. and Cow Pen Rd. on Sept. 30, 2010, and seized a vehicle, shotgun and handguns in addition to marijuana.

Items reportedly had been stolen in Cumberland and Putnam County. The theft charges against Tasker were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

In other cases on the docket, the following took place:

Motions and hearings

•Franklin D. Copeland, possession of a weapon by a felon and manufacture or possession of a schedule II drug for resale, motion to suppress evidence denied; trial set for April 13.

•Kelly William Demoe, aggravated child abuse, trial set for March 29.

•Thomas Allan Lansford, three counts of sale of marijuana, continued to March 19.

•Roger Joe Norris, driving under the influence, assault on an officer and driving on a suspended license, set for trial March 28.

•Earl Bryan Sevier, sexual battery, motion hearing set for April 16.

Probation violations

•Jean Ann Cowen, one probation violation warrant dropped. Pleaded guilty to second probation violation warrant and was ordered to serve balance of her sentence with credit for time served.

•Jamie J. Davis, on probation because of forgery and passing a forged instrument charges, had probation revoked and was ordered to serve 30 days in jail and then have probation extended 11 months and 29 days.

•Timothy Richard Forster, Matthew Edwards appointed to represent the defendant; revocation hearing continued to April 16.

•Kevin Michael Garner, on probation because of a fourth offense drunk driving, second offense revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident, was ordered to serve 30 days in jail and then have probation extended 11 months and 29 days.

•Tiffany C. Gutierrez, probation revocation hearing continued to April 16 at which time defendant is to return to court with an attorney.

Community corrections

•Charles Kevin Cox, probation revocation hearing continured to Aprirl 16.