Man Convicted on Federal Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering Charges in Nashville
A man at the center of a multi-state heroin and cocaine distribution operation has been found guilty by a federal jury in Nashville following a two-week trial.
Ricky “Boom” Thompson, 43, of Toledo, Ohio, was convicted Friday of conspiracy to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, conspiracy to commit money laundering, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit witness intimidation.
Heroin distributed through Thompson’s operation led to multiple heroin-related overdoses in Tennessee and the fatal overdose of a young woman in Ohio, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Thompson operated a drug trafficking operation that distributed drugs in Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Florida and Arizona. He and four others were indicted in the case in 2015 and 2016.
He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison, though Thompson won’t be sentenced until November.
In March 2015, Drug Enforcement Administration task force agents executed multiple search warrants in Nashville that led to the seizure of around 300 grams of heroin and cocaine in a “stash house maintained by Thompson’s organization,” according to a news release from Jack Smith, acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
At the time authorities arrested Justin Clements, 30, and, Tiffany Wright, 28, both of Nashville, as well as John Rupley, 35, and, Derek Gilligan, 25, both of Toledo, Ohio.
All four have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors say that following the 2015 arrests, Gilligan attempted to warn Thompson that authorities had identified him as the operation’s head.
In March 2016, agents with DEA, FBI and local law enforcement in Toldeo executed federal search warrants at four locations operated by Thompson, seizing eight guns, more than $200,000 worth of heroin, cocaine, crack-cocaine, marijuana and suboxone, along with five vehicles and nearly $10,000 in cash.
Authorities say after Thompson was arrested and extradited to Nashville, he continued to direct remaining members of the trafficking organization in Toledo to “intimidate and harass persons whom he discovered had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Nashville,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
In addition to the DEA and FBI, the following law enforcement agencies assisted with investigating the case: Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Lebanon Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Toledo (Ohio) Police Department, Lucas County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Police and Oldham County (Kentucky) Police Department.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Clay Lee and Phillip Wehby prosecuted the case.