Police say seizure of 754 pounds of pot resulted from year-long investigation

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 10:17pm
Staff reports
0201 Charles Wayne Ivey.jpg
Charles Ivey

Wednesday's arrest of Charles Wayne Ivey and the previous seizure of 754 pounds of marijuana were results of a year-long investigation of a possible large-scale trafficking operation, according to Metro police.

Two others — Teresa Kay Joplin, 51, and Spencer Del Vermuele, 59, both of Arizona — have also been charged in the case. Joplin and Vermuele were booked into Metro jail late Tuesday night and each charged with felony drug possession.

According to Metro police, undercover officers assigned to the 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force followed a camper trailer that they believed contained the marijuana as it drove through Nashville on Jan. 24 on Interstate 65, passing within 1,000 feet of several schools including Father Ryan High School.

Police believe Ivey wasn’t ready for the shipment and directed Joplin and Vermuele to go to a campground in Humphreys County until they could make the delivery. There, officers, with help from the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and the 21st Judicial District Drug Task Force, pulled the two over near Linden and arrested them.

Ivey, 27, who according to Metro police resides in the Encore condominiums downtown, was arrested early Wednesday. A convicted felon and the man police believe to be the “senior distributor” in the alleged marijuana trafficking operation, Ivey was on probation at the time of his arrest. He allegedly stored the marijuana in houses around Nashville.

Police are continuing the investigation, during which they said they have also seized five vehicles, the trailer and more than $20,000 cash.

20 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 2/2/12 at 6:58

In the last 24 hours 754 more pounds of the "weed" were smoked in Davidson County.

By: Loner on 2/2/12 at 8:52

So, Ivey ratted on his Arizona partners? Or The Arizona partners ratted on Ivey? Somebody copped a plea? Undercover cops wormed their way into the inter-sanctum?

Damn....that's a lot of herb....what a shame that it will be wasted...and the lives of those involved will now undergo a wasting period....in Tennessee, this is a lock 'em up & throw away the key offense....murderers get more leniency than Cannabis distributors and growers get, in Tennessee, the "greenest state in the land of the free".

By the way, Cannabis (pot) is a plant, not a drug...drugs are produced in labs...Cannabis is grown on a farm, or indoors.....you grow pot, you don't "manufacture" it.

What we have here is a case of seizing contraband agricultural produce, not a true "drug bust". This should be a matter for the Dept. of Agriculture to address, not a small army of SWAT-teams, K-9 units and Drug Task Force Commandos.

By: Left-of-Local on 2/2/12 at 8:57

Boy it sure is a good thing they got all this dangerous stuff off the streets. It might have caused dozens of people to sit around with their friends, actually talk to each other, laugh, and get some munchies. We don't want those ills in our society.

We should be, instead, drinking in bars next to our guns and driving home drunk (preferably in a squad car), only speaking to each other on the internet, sucking the humor out of everything, and engorging on MSG-laden processed crap from the fastest fast food chain we can find.


By: Loner on 2/2/12 at 9:03

"According to Metro police, undercover officers assigned to the 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force followed a camper trailer that they believed contained the marijuana as it drove through Nashville on Jan. 24 on Interstate 65, passing within 1,000 feet of several schools including Father Ryan High School."

So, the fact that the herb was on an Interstate Highway that passed within 1,000 feet of some schools is going to be part of the charges brought against these unlucky folks?

Are we to assume that the accused were selling pot, to school kids, out the back of a camper, doing 65 mph, on the interstate? That's quite ridiculous...even in Tennessee, a state notorious for being ridiculous.

The school zone aspect of this is simply piling on and political grandstanding. The authorities already have enough on these three to lock them up for the remainder of their natural lives; why throw in the "Drug Free School Zone" BS?

IMO, this is a miscarriage of justice.

By: Loner on 2/2/12 at 9:05

Amen, left-of-local.....you got dat right.

By: BenDover on 2/2/12 at 9:12

Hopefully he's the @$$hole down the hall who has all the crazy parties 'til 4:00am every night. Tow his damn monster-ass SUV out of the handicap space too.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/2/12 at 9:35

Loner......You are red hot with your comments today. Good Man!

By: BenDover on 2/2/12 at 10:36

I agree on the school zone BS. Reasonable people should operate, not on the letter of the law; but on the intent of the law.

By: RTungsten on 2/2/12 at 10:51

Wait...people live in the Encore condos?

By: mspatootee on 2/2/12 at 1:03

If this pot was made legal for medications for diseases, just think of the tax money we could get. We as patients of diseases that pot woiuld help need to get legalized pot for medical use put on the agenda to be voted on. Our Congress and Senate need to vote YES for pot as a medical medication. Any other patients agree with this?

By: NewYorker1 on 2/2/12 at 3:06

Why do we continue to waste tax dollars on this crap? It's never going to stop, especially when most cops are dirty and involved in drugs and smoke pot themselves. The best thing to do is to legalize pot and be done with it. It's less harmful than alcohol in my opinion. I don't smoke it, but I've been around some very successful people i.e. doctors, lawyers, and politicians that do smoke it.

By: dargent7 on 2/3/12 at 5:44

How'd this clown get admittance to The Encore? Known felon?
Don't they screen?

By: Loner on 2/3/12 at 7:42

Thank you, Rasputin....I agree with you, mspatootee....liberate the medicine!

By: Ask01 on 2/3/12 at 7:55

Prohibition was a failed social experiment, brought about by what I would call a mass hysteria, during which Temperance Movement advocates siezed the opportunity to impose their values. History shows that government never halted the flow of alcohol to the public. The monetary and human toll were staggering with actually little to show.

Fast forward to today and I believe the same applies. While law enforcement crows about 754 pounds of weed, I wonder what percentage that represents of marijuana that reached the streets.

How much money is spent on the investigation, staging raids, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating these people, (with great fanfare of course,) as opposed to how much could be collected were this agricultural product allowed to be grown, processed, sold and, most importantly, taxed like another weed called tobacco?

Organized crime would be dealt a severe blow, street crime would likely diminish, law enforcement could devote time to serious crimes like murder, rape, arson, armed robbery, and other offenses. Courts would see a reduction of cases, prisons could actually hold dangerous people. Of course, I suppose a downside(?) would be the unemployment of huge numbers of people, cops, judges, lawyers, jailers, and the like who have prospered from drug prosecution.

Of course, my drug of choice has always been fermented and distilled beverages, particularly single malt scotch when I can afford such, so I have no direct knowledge of the "killer weed" but I can read and reason. I believe, old geezer that I am, we would be money ahead to jettison so many of these antiquated laws and realize we cannot legislate some things, but can control, and even profit from some vices.

Sorry for the rant, but thanks for reading.

By: BenDover on 2/3/12 at 8:45

Well said Ask01, et al... I guess the problem is that stoners don't vote in large enough numbers to affect such a change.

By: Ask01 on 2/3/12 at 10:49

Honestly Ben, the decision should not be up to the 'stoners,' as you call them, alone. In fact, I believe logical, clear thinking citizens should be able to analyze the situation, realize the need for change, and force the issue.

Alcohol and tobacco are as addictive and potentially dangerous as the 'devil' weed. I cannot speak for tobacco, but having once had a long acquaintance with 'demon' rum, I can personally attest to the addicitve qualities.

But I am rambling. Marijuana seems a scourge to society because those selling and buying have to sneak about to conduct business. The penalties and fines involved lead people to extreme and sometimes violent actions to avoid prosecution. Actually reminiscent of what I read about the history of prohibition truth be known.

Why do I believe the general public is capable of arriving at this decision, only needing to break the hold of the liquor industry on our politicians to effect change? If a retiree with only a high school education can recognize the folly of the current policy, there is no reason why people so much smarter than me should not be able to arrive at the same conclusion.

Of course, I could be wrong.

By: LizzyD on 2/3/12 at 1:17

"If a retiree with only a high school education can recognize the folly of the current policy, there is no reason why people so much smarter than me should not be able to arrive at the same conclusion."

Ask01, you have, probably unwittingly, typed the four KEY WORDS:

"...there is no reason."

As usual, "follow the money" should also be added to the key words.

The most powerful people in the world make a LOT of their money from ILLEGAL drugs. That is, sadly, a very real part of our culture.

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By: BenDover on 2/4/12 at 11:41

Follow the money and the special interests points are misdirected at private industries. The bigger power brokers on this issue are the municipal fiefdoms who investigate, arrest, prosecute, fine, incarcerate and probation people for this largely harmless intoxicant. Once government gains a power over the people it almost never gives it up. The government entities become lobbies unto itself for growing the machine. In so doing, it destroys many families and the lives of young people with it's non-value-added expense on society in both dollar and social costs.

By: Loner on 2/6/12 at 12:06

When I saw that Budweiser ad on the Super Bowl, the one about the end of prohibition, I thought of this particular case and cases like it. It is time to tell the do-gooders to mind their own business, the ends are not worth the means. People's lives are being ruined needlessly.

People are going to enjoy alcohol and they are going to enjoy Cannabis (pot), they have a right, in my opinion, to do so.

We must never forget, Cannabis is a plant, not a drug. Regulating Cannabis is a matter for the USDA, not the DEA, Cannabis is agricultural produce....it is an herb, not a narcotic.

The federal government needs to let the states decide on Cannabis, just as it let the states decide on alcohol.