Tennessee Drug Kingpin Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison

Michael Sowell receives a 22-year sentence for leading a drug trafficking ring.
Public Safety

NASHVILLE – In a significant blow to drug trafficking in middle Tennessee, Michael Sowell, a 39-year-old resident of Hohenwald, Tennessee, has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison. This sentencing was announced by United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis, marking a pivotal moment in the fight against drug-related crimes in the region.

Sowell’s guilty plea in May 2023 encompassed a range of charges, including conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Additionally, he faced charges for the distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine, and being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Sowell was implicated as the leader of a extensive drug trafficking organization that operated between 2017 and 2020, responsible for the distribution of large quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine across middle Tennessee. Investigations revealed that Sowell imported these drugs from California, further distributing them within the community and contributing to the drug menace.

The case against Sowell also led to the forfeiture of firearms and ammunition found in his residence during a 2019 search, along with a money judgment of $200,000, signifying the proceeds from his illicit drug trafficking activities.

Sowell’s sentencing follows the guilty pleas of several other individuals involved in the drug trafficking ring, including Frank Sparkman, Antonio Sowell, Charles Lowe-Kelley, Antonio Laster, Tanasha Vaughn, and Darron Weakley, all of whom have received or are awaiting sentencing.

This case is a part of the broader efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) to combat high-level drug trafficking and criminal organizations threatening the United States. The collaborative investigation leading to Sowell’s sentencing involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and several local law enforcement agencies, showcasing the effectiveness of a united front against drug trafficking.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert S. Levine and Nani M. Gilkerson spearheaded the prosecution, underscoring the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to dismantle drug trafficking networks and bring their leaders to justice.

Source: Read Original Release