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Convicted Knoxville gang leader sentenced to life plus 10 years

Multiple agencies including the Knoxville Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several others assisted in the case.
Alim Turner, 23
Alim Turner, 23(Knoxville Police Department)
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 2:53 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A convicted gang leader from Knoxville was sentenced to life plus ten years on drug, firearms and money laundering charges, according to the United States Department of Justice.

The sentencing comes after Alim J. Turner, 23, was convicted along with six other gang members of money laundering and conspiring to distribute various controlled substances, including methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, oxycodone, alprazolam, and buprenorphine. They were also convicted on charges including the possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, the illegal distribution of drugs and unlawful possession of firearms in East Tennessee.

“Witnesses testified at trial that Turner was the Knoxville leader of a violent street gang known as the Unknown Ghost Vice Lords,” the DOJ said.

Honorable Thomas A. Varlan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville reportedly based the sentencing off several factors, including Turner’s role as a leader and organizer of crime in the area.

“Gang violence, coupled with armed trafficking of lethal drugs, has resulted in devastation and death within our community. This sentence sends a powerful message that armed gang leaders who recruit and use minors to flood the community with drugs and who employ credible threats of violence in their crimes will face justice,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III. “This case is an example of the Department of Justice’s comprehensive strategy to target and prosecute the most serious offenders who pose the greatest threats to safety and peace within the community.”

“Illegal drug trafficking continues to have a devastating and horrific impact on communities throughout our nation. This life sentence sends a very strong message to those who engage in these unlawful activities. The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain dedicated to identifying, investigating, and apprehending those who terrorize our communities with their reckless and illegal behavior,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Carrico.

“Without question, the conviction and sentencing of this defendant will have a profound effect on public safety and quality of life, most significantly in the inner-city where Turner committed numerous acts of violence as an influential gang member. I am extremely proud of the work that KPD Investigators Brandon Stryker and Brandon Glover did over an extensive period of time to dismantle a violent inner-city gang, of which Turner was a member. In their capacity as KPD investigators assigned as task force officers to the FBI, they worked collaboratively with the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s office, and their colleagues in KPD’s Organized Crime Unit to end this defendant’s contributions to creating fear in the lives of citizens who seek only to raise their families in a safe community,” said Captain Tony Willis, KPD Organized Crimes Unit. “We are likewise grateful for the support and collaboration of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in prosecuting this violent inner-city gang.”

Multiple agencies including the Knoxville Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several others assisted in the case.

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