Former Selmer Alderman sentenced to prison

JACKSON, Tenn. — According to a news release from the U.S Department of Justice, former Alderman of Selmer, Nickolas Atkins, was sentenced to federal prison for 48 months for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Chief U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson announced the sentence on Friday, January 7.

The release states that information presented in court, back in March 2018 included a joint-task force investigation being initiated into the activities of a drug trafficking organization run by Timmy Jermaine Cole. This included the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana from individuals in Mexico to West Tennessee.

According to the release, the investigation uncovered through the interception of Title III wiretaps, that Atkins distributed drugs including: marijuana, pills, and cocaine. He also conducted a money laundering operation involving a restaurant owned by Cole, where Atkins would pay bills at the Hungry Wolf Restaurant in exchange for narcotics.

Through several means of the investigation, including Title III wiretaps, surveillance, and witness statements, it was found that Atkins was responsible for 3 ounces of cocaine, 250 pounds of marijuana, and over 600 pills containing hydrocodone and also 77 units of testosterone. Atkins then sold those pills out of Moody Auto Sales, where he was employed. One intercepted phone call included a conversation between Cole and Atkins, stating that someone complained about marijuana quality.

The release also states that around four days later, another call included a conversation where Atkins confirmed with Cole, that Atkins owed Cole for three “cuties,” which was later determined through the trial, refers to a quarter ounce of cocaine.

Also included in the release was information that Atkins used his position as Alderman to obtain information from law enforcement and other community members to share with Cole, in an effort to hide his drug trafficking activity.

On December 17, 2021, Atkins pled guilty.

This investigation was conducted by the following agencies: Selmer Police Department, 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Lexington Police Department, Dyersburg Police Department, McNairy County Sheriff’s Office, Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI.

The release states that Chief U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson sentenced Atkins to 48 months in federal prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release on January 4, 2022. There is no parole in the federal system. This case was prosecuted on behalf of the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary Lawler Parham.

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