An investigation into an overnight south Nashville shooting led to the discovery of a major cocaine receiving, distribution and cooking operation, Metro Police reported Tuesday.
Inside a home at 414 Ezell Pike near Nashville International Airport, officers seized approximately 40 pounds of cocaine, most of it in brick form, which has an estimated street value in excess of $4 million, police reported. Also found was $255,746 in cash, money counting machines, vacuum sealers, four large flat screen televisions, one hot tub, one pool table and two guns.
“The good news for Nashville and Middle Tennessee is that 40 pounds of cocaine, some of it already cooked into crack, will not be on our streets,” Chief Ronal Serpas said. “This is a very large and significant seizure.”
Shortly before midnight, police responded to 412 Ezell Pike, where Xavier Gray, 30, was banging on the door saying that he’d been shot, according to reports. Gray, who suffered a wound to his buttocks, initially told police that he was shot during a robbery and carjacking incident at a nearby carwash.
Through interviews with other individuals during the night, and a re-interview of Gray at the hospital, detectives now believe that Gray was shot behind 414 Ezell Pike.
Gray ultimately told officers that as he was leaving the home, he was jumped by three individuals who demanded money and drugs. He said they took him into a wooded area and threatened to kill him. Gray said as he ran away, he was shot in the buttocks.
While investigating Gray’s new story, South Precinct Detective Scott Sulfridge checked the rear of 414 Ezell Pike and discovered an SUV with the doors standing open. Sulfridge and Detective Brandon Dozier looked through a window of the home and saw what appeared to be a quantity of cocaine and cash.
The South Precinct’s undercover Crime Suppression Unit responded to the scene and obtained a search warrant. The 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted.
According to police, Gray claimed he did not live at 414 Ezell Pike. However, mail comes to him at that address and his clothing was found inside the home.
Gray, who remains hospitalized for the gunshot wound, is expected to face federal prosecution in regard to the cocaine discovery.
The investigation is continuing in an effort to identify others who may be involved.
The suspect has a cocaine conviction in Nashville from 1998. He also has convictions for unlawful gun possession, resisting police, possession of drug paraphernalia, and motor vehicle burglary, police reported.