City Council members Rickey Peete and Edmund Ford were charged with bribery in a federal criminal complaint Thursday.
In a separate complaint, former Shelby County Commission candidate Joe Cooper was charged with helping drug dealers acquire cars.
A complaint is not an indictment but is an alternative way for the government to proceed in a criminal case. An indictment could come later following presentation of the complaint to a grand jury.
The complaint filed by an FBI agent came as a surprise and was handled with secrecy to prevent Peete and Ford from learning about it. Peete was at a party on Beale Street Wednesday night in preparation for Thursday's charity boxing match between Mayor Willie Herenton and Joe Frazier.
Peete and Ford allegedly sold their influence to help a developer win approval for a planned development and a billboard near Interstate 240. A confidential informant who is facing indictment cooperated with the FBI and taped both Ford and Peete. Peete allegedly got $12,000 while Ford got $6,900.
The payments occurred in September and October. Ford allegedly got his payment at his funeral home while Peete got his at his office on Beale Street, where he is head of the Beale Street Merchants Association. The affidavit says both councilmen were wary of being busted. The informant put Peete's "papers" in the bathroom of his office after Peete allegedly wrote a note inquiring about possible cooperation with the FBI.
The planned development, which was not identified, passed the council 9-2 in October over the objections of the Land Use Control Board and Office of Planning and Development.
That's right folks! To help you through the long wait between Thanksgiving and Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah, today we celebrate NATIONAL METH AWARENESS DAY, where, presumably, we are to celebrate all things amphetamine.
Even if Memphis doesn't get the "wintry mix" local meteorologist and grocers are praying for, we can still have a white holiday, thanks to the U.S. Department of Justice. Stimulating, isn't it?
Learn all about meth on its very special day here. And remember, read slowly.
Sadly, what you won't get to see is Meredith Veira's version of dancing, which she inflicted on viewers all morning whenever the "Great Balls of Fire" teaser music played. It's hard to describe, but the term "Crazy Arms" comes to mind.
Click the second photo to see what Jerry Lee thought about Meredith's dancing chops.
Sigh. We may have seen the last of David at his usual lunch at Gus' Fried Chicken, or sucking down a cocktail at The Peabody. Alas, Davey, we hardly knew ye.
The big question, of course, is whether he'll take his Memphis maid, Vaginica Semen, with him.
Demetrius Van Crocker (subject of this Flyer cover story earlier this year), a McKenzie, Tennessee laborer and farm hand, was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison plus what amounts to supervised probation for life if he outlives his prison sentence.
Crocker was convicted by a jury in federal court in Jackson, Tennessee, in April. Prosecutors likened him to Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
Crocker plotted with an undercover agent posing as a rogue security employee for an arsenal in Arkansas to buy Sarin nerve gas. During the trial, prosecutors played tapes of Crocker spouting racial hatred and his desire to strike a blow against the government.
Disheartened by negative images of black men in the media, Greg McNeal taught himself photography in 1994 in the hopes of capturing a more uplifting, somewhat sexy representation of the black man.
Since then, hes shot for numerous publications in African, Spain, and Thailand. Locally, his work has appeared in the Tri-State Defender. He also happens to be HIV positive, and hell be speaking at Friends for Life tomorrow night in conjunction with World AIDS Day (December 1st).
McNeal will discuss his life with HIV and give tips for managing day-to-day with the disease. Afterward, hell be available to shoot professional photos of lecture attendees for their personal use.
For more, check out the Flyers searchable listings.
Yep, Borat killed the producer's career, but he also apparently killed Pamela's marriage to Kid Rock. Sound insane? Well, of course it does. But here's the scoop, straight from the unimpeachable Idontlikeyouinthatway.com: "The hugely popular film shows Sasha Baron Cohen - in character as Borat Sagdiyev - falling in love with Anderson after seeing her in a Baywatch rerun, then driving across America in order to propose marriage to her. [Pamela's] friend tells Page Six, "Bob started screaming at Pam, saying she had humiliated herself and telling her, 'You're nothing but a whore! You're a slut!"
Seems to us the Kid's a little late to that dance.
"In Memphis," he says, "there's something very classic about her presence. In New York it's very contemporary."
We don't know what that means, but we're going to take it as a compliment.
The arrest came after a nine-month federal and local investigation of the drug ring. The drugs were imported from Mexico and distributed here. Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin says the men were receiving thousands of pounds of marijuana every three weeks.
Weve been trying to build a case and get [the drugs] when [they] were delivered. This morning was the time, said Godwin at a press conference earlier today.
Also seized were 10 vehicles, two semi trucks, and one semi-trailer all used for drug distribution and an assortment of automatic weapons and pistols.
The case remains under investigation, and Godwin says more arrests are possible.
by Bianca Phillips
At Hooks' request during a Monday-morning hearing, U.S. District Judge Daniel Breen set a new report date of February 26. Acceding to the request was assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza, who told Breen, however, that he anticipated a trial of only "two or three days."
Hooks' attorney Glen Reid disagreed, saying that he might need "at least a week" just to present a response to the government's evidence, including surveillance audio- and video-tapes of his client dealing with FBI agents posing as representatives of the fictitious E-Cycle company.
In August, the senior Hooks pleaded guilty to one count of taking bribes from the agents.
There's nothing on the Reese's products Web site and no sign of the product in local stores. Could it be the ghost of Elvis has struck again? Who knows? But if you find a package of this stuff, we'd sure like to see it. And eat it.
Using the imaginative aural techniques of radio storytelling, the tiny troupe of award-winning actors, including Irene Crist, Kim Justis, Michael Gravois, and John Rone, join relative newcomer Cory Cunningham to put a nostalgic spin on this familiar tale of angst, angels, and finding the hidden riches buried in our own backyard. Directed by Pamela Poletti, who recently staged a revelatory production of Waiting for Godot at Rhodes College, It's a Wonderful Life promises to be an excellent alternative for theatergoers who like to see one set of good old-fashioned American values utterly smashed by another set of good old-fashioned American values.
For more information, go to the Flyer's online calendar.
Reserve is under $175,000, and the auction ends December 16th.
Also up for sale is a Memphis home owned by Elvis' father, Vernon, from 1961 to 1965. The four bedroom/three bath home is located at 3650 Hermitage Drive, approximately one mile behind Graceland. Priscilla Presley lived in the house before she married Elvis.
The house has been appraised at $146,000.
Letters can be sent to the Children's Museum at:
c/o The Childrens Museum of Memphis
2525 Central Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
Now, just for giggles, check out this gallery of photos capturing kids scared out of their wits by Santa.