The drug dealing exploits of three persons who are believed to have been traveling the country selling and distributing large amounts of high-grade marijuana from Colorado came to an end after their arrival in Nashville Wednesday. All three are now jailed as a result of a sting investigation by Specialized Investigations Division narcotics detectives, who received assistance in this case from the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force (based in Shelbyville) along with TBI and DEA agents.
Gary Chase, 60, of Silver City, New Mexico, Christopher Crumbliss, 39, and Tasha Desmond, 21, both of Breckenridge, Colorado, are charged with engaging in a marijuana distribution conspiracy and possession of more than 400 pounds of marijuana for resale. Additionally, Chase is charged with possessing a quarter ounce of cocaine and 2 grams of crystal meth. Chase is being held in lieu of $385,000 bond. Crumbliss and Desmond are being held in lieu of $300,000 bond each.
The investigation began Wednesday after law enforcement developed information that Crumbliss and Desmond had flown to Nashville from Colorado to broker a marijuana deal. The two checked into a Demonbreun Street motel and last evening met with an undercover officer posing as a marijuana buyer. The undercover officer was told that the marijuana would be arriving in Nashville later in the night, as the courier had been making a number of other stops across the United States.
At 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, Chase arrived at the motel in a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck with a topper covering the bed. Crumbliss met Chase in the parking lot and the two retrieved a marijuana sample from the truck bed and headed to the motel room which was actually rented by Desmond. After the undercover officer inspected the marijuana sample, all agreed to travel to another location, at which the undercover officer was to purchase 100 pounds. As the group walked out of the motel, other officers moved in and took them into custody.
A search of the 2012 Dodge Ram, which had 234,000 miles on the odometer, revealed 425 pounds of high-grade marijuana valued at $1.7 million, $354,944 in cash, 17 "burner" cell phones with various states written on them, packaging material to band and wrap large amounts of money, and four pounds of hashish. The truck mileage and the phones clearly indicated that Chase was essentially on a marijuana tour of the country. Officers also recovered $5,359 from Crumbliss when he was taken into custody. Crumbliss has an arrest history in other states for drug distribution.
Assisting narcotics detectives and agents in the surveillance and takedown of the suspects were Metro SWAT officers assigned to the Special Response Team and members of the police department's Gang Unit.