Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What's In A Name? 'Operation Non-Believers' Explained

Posted By on Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 2:04 PM

click to enlarge A pile of cash and drugs seized during Operation Non-Believers. - MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Memphis Police Department
  • A pile of cash and drugs seized during Operation Non-Believers.

You've probably seen by now that the Memphis Police Department made two huge busts this week, netting some 400 arrests.

The arrests were the culmination of two, weeks-long operations. The one that focused primarily on violent crime was called "Operation Spring Cleaning." That name is pretty straight forward. It's spring time. They're cleaning up the streets. OK.

The second operation focused on drugs. It, however, was mysteriously called "Operation Non-Believers." That one was subtle, a head scratcher. What could that possibly mean? Was this some atheist drug ring they busted?

Louis Brownlee, the legal officer and public information officer with MPD, patiently explained to us, uh, no.

"This operation was coined 'Operation Non-Believers' because dealers are continuously attempting to possess, deliver, and sell heroin and fentanyl on the streets of Memphis; without believing they will be arrested for their unlawful actions," Brownlee said in a statement.

A pile of cash and drugs seized during Operation Non-Believers. - MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Memphis Police Department
  • A pile of cash and drugs seized during Operation Non-Believers.

Here's how MPD described Operation Non-Believers in a news statement yesterday:


“Operation Non-Believers” started in January 2019; members of the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit identified Darius Chalmers and several other co-conspirators as being high to mid-level distributors of heroin and fentanyl. During the investigation, Detectives identify (30) individuals who conspired in distributing as much as a half kilogram of heroin and fentanyl per week in Memphis and Northern Mississippi.

On Wednesday, May 29th, 2019, a detective presented the Shelby County Grand jury with the facts of this investigation. The thirty (30) individuals involved in this investigation, (22) men and (8) women, were each indicted on four felony counts of:

Conspiracy: unlawful possession of a controlled substance 150g or more to sell in a drug-free school zone;

Conspiracy: unlawful possession of a controlled substance 150g or more to deliver in a drug free school zone;

Conspiracy: unlawful possession of a controlled substance 2,000g or more to sell in a drug free school zone; and

Conspiracy: unlawful possession of a controlled substance 2,000g or more to deliver in a drug free school zone.

All are A-level felonies, each of which carries (15) to (25) years in prison without parole.

On Monday, June 3, 2019, the Organized Crime Unit conducted a roundup operation to locate and arrest these individuals. Detectives arrested (16) of the (30) individuals indicted. There were also two (2) additional individuals arrested for unrelated drug charges.

During this investigation, detectives recovered (101.8) grams of Fentanyl, 11.0 grams of marijuana, and (20) firearms (3-Rifles and 17-handguns). Detectives seized (12) vehicles and approximately ($31, 200.00) cash as suspected drug proceeds. Detectives also served (7) search warrants throughout Memphis and Shelby County. Of the (30) individuals indicted, (9) of them were either affiliated with or a member of the Crips Street Gang.

These individuals ranged in age from (24) to (62) years of age and some of them had prior arrest for Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Rape, Theft, Drugs Possession, and Felon Weapon Violations.

The Memphis Police Department would like to thank the Shelby County Attorney General’s Office for providing guidance and operational assistance throughout this entire operation.

The Memphis Police Department is continuously working to create a crime and drug free community for the citizens of this city. These operations are in conjunction with the vision and initiative of Memphis Police Department to combat the crime issues within the City of Memphis.

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