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Archives 11-08-2006

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Guns, thousands in cash seized in recent raid
Sex offender arrested in Rickman

Local airport to recieve $499,500 grant
Operation nabs 33 in Overton County

 

Guns, thousands in cash seized in recent raid

OCN staff
Displaying the guns, money, and drugs recently seized are, from left, Sheriff W.B. Melton, Inv. Brian Franklin, and Inv. Kevin Phillips.

 

A recent raid produced guns, drugs, and more than $10,000 in cash.

The Friday, Nov. 3 raid in Putnam County was conducted by Overton County Sheriff's Department in cooperation with Tennessee Highway Patrol's Criminal Investigation Division and Putnam County Sheriff's Department.

The raid was the result of an investigation centered on stolen property from Overton County. Overton County Sheriff's personnel have been tracking the stolen property as it changed hands the past several weeks.

During the raid, officers recovered at least two guns reported stolen from a residence in Overton County. As an added bonus, the raid netted more than $10,000 in cash believed to be proceeds from the sale and distribution of narcotics and the sale of stolen property.

In addition, OxyContin 80mg pills along with other prescription drugs were allegedly recovered from the residence.

Also seized was a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban, which the Sheriff's Department asserts was used in illegal drug transactions.

The names of the individuals involved are being held pending a presentment to the Overton County and Putnam County grand juries.

Overton County officers participating in the raid were Inv. Kevin Phillips, Brian Franklin, Gary Ledbetter, Jacob Boswell, Donathan Durham, and Greg Etheredge.

Sheriff W.B. Melton expressed gratitude to Putnam County Sheriff David Andrews and his department.

"Without their cooperation, the operation would not have been successful," Sheriff Melton stated.

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Sex offender arrested in Rickman

"Operation Falcon III" nabbed a sex offender in Rickman. Allen Joe Marksberry was wanted on an outstanding warrant issued in Overton County charging him with violation of probation.

Marksberry had been convicted October 18, 1996, on second degree sodomy charges and 1st degree sexual abuse charges. The victim was a 7 year-old female child. The state of Kentucky added Marksberry to the lifetime sexual offender registry. After serving a prison sentence, he moved to Tennessee.

On October 23 of this year, investigators assigned to Operation Falcon III began searching for Marksberry. Several leads as to Marksberry's whereabouts were followed through four counties in the Cumberland Plateau. Falcon III investigators eventually developed a lead that indicated Marksberry was living at 140 Circle Lane, Rickman.

As investigators approached the residence the following day, Marksberry reportedly attempted to barricade the front door with a table and ran to the back of the residence. The Falcon III team entered the residence and found him in the bedroom.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Marksberry was babysitting three children: a 10 year-old male, a 5 year-old female, and a 3 year-old female. The male child was reported to be home schooled, but no information was obtained to support the claim. Tennessee Department of Children's Services was contacted and took custody of the children.

The mothers of two of the children returned to the residence immediately after Marksberry's arrest, according to the report.

A search of the property was conducted, including the vehicle the women drove. Drugs and paraphernalia were allegedly taken from the vehicle.

Gwen Ledbetter and Jessica Ledbetter were arrested and charged with possession of narcotics for resale and child endangerment.

The search of the property resulted in the seizure of a Raven .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol, two sets of scales, marijuana, undetermined narcotics in vials, narcotic paraphernalia, two police scanners, and pornographic videos and photographs. Additionally, photos of Marksberry holding one of the female children was also seized.

Marksberry was transported to Overton County Jail and charged with Violation of Probation, Failure to Appear, and Sexual Offender Registry Violation.

 

 

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Local airport to recieve $499,500 grant

An aeronautics grant in the amount of $499,500 has been awarded to Livingston Municipal Airport in Overton County to assist with improvements to the facility, according to Gov. Phil Bredesen.

"The Livingston Municipal Airport, like many other general aviation airports, serves as an important hub for businesses operating in the state, for shipping, and as a reliever airport for larger flight centers," Bredesen said. "These airports are a key component of the state's transportation system and must be kept up to date."

State Senator Charlotte Burks added, "The funds from this grant will be used to add security fencing, expand a ramp, and for maintenance of the hangar building."

State Representative John Mark Windle affirmed the funds will help the airport grow and stay competitive.

"Livingston Municipal Airport is a vital part of this area's economic and travel systems."

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely explained that the grants are made available through the department's Aeronautics Division.

"This division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction, and maintenance of Tennessee's diverse public aviation system," Nicely said. "We are pleased to be able to provide millions of dollars each year for the betterment of our airports through our grant programs.

Grant applications are reviewed by Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC), which is a 5-member board charged with policy planning and with regulating changes in the state airport system plan.

TAC Chairman Lonnie Strunk said, "These grants can have a significant impact on the future of a general aviation airport and its economic contributions to our state. Our board examines the applications carefully to ensure that the funds will be put to good use."

TDOT Aeronautics Division also has the responsibility of inspecting and licensing the state's 126 helicopters and 75 public/general aviation airports. General aviation includes all aircraft not flown by commercial airlines or the military. The Aeronautics Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government executives, staffing for Tennessee Aeronautics Commission, and numerous educational support programs.

The division's offices include Administration, Finance & Grant Management, Engineering & Program Development, Flight Services, and Planning & Programming.

 

Operation nabs 33 in Overton County

In what has been termed the most ambitious one-week fugitive apprehension effort ever undertaken in Middle Tennessee, Deputy U.S. Marshals, along with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies conducted the largest ever roundup of fugitive sex offenders and wanted gang members in Operation FALCON III.

Arrests were made in each of the 32 counties of Middle Tennessee, including 33 in Overton County.

"These numbers mean safer streets for the citizens of communities all over this country," stated Marshal's Service Director John Clark. "We have not only brought those wanted fugitives to justice, but we have hopefully brought a bit of peace to their communities."

The success of Operation Falcon III (Federal and Local Cope Organized Nationally) came just months after President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act into law. The focus of the operation centered on sexual predators and fugitive gang members.

In Middle Tennessee, where more than 90 agencies teamed together, 862 fugitives were arrested, 1,047 warrants were cleared, 36 sex offender arrests were made, 19 were taken into custody for sexual assault, and 8 for other sex offenses.

Some wanted persons were found to be dead, some in jail, and others were found hiding. One team in Region 4 (which includes Overton County) arrested 5 fugitives in one day, 4 of whom were hiding in closets or under beds. One subject hid in a cave and is still at large.

Prior to the operation, more than 300 Middle Tennessee state and local officers were sworn in as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals in Nashville, enabling FALCON III teams to cross county lines, and state lines if necessary, to accomplish their mission.

Director Clark expressed his deep gratitude to officers from every agency that participated in Operation FALCON III.

"I applaud the accomplishments of every Deputy Marshal, police officer, detective, trooper, investigator, deputy sheriff, and special agent who put their investigative efforts to the test and their lives on the line to make communities across the country safe.

"For many of these men and women participating in FALCON III, they were just doing their jobs; but I'm sure families across the country would beg to differ, especially when it comes to the safety of our children."

 

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Overton County News
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P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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