Knoxville Lawyer Indicted in Heroin Distribution Conspiracy
A Knoxville lawyer is among at least 19 people indicted as part of an alleged heroin distribution conspiracy connected to two overdose deaths last year, according to court records.
William Whitlow Davis Jr., 71, is charged with conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy to sell a controlled substance and money laundering in the 65-count sealed indictment returned by a Knox County grand jury May 23.
A study says the number of deadly heroin overdoses in the country more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2015. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were almost 13,000 overdose deaths involving heroin in 2015, compared to more than 3,000 deaths fatalities five years earlier. The center's research was based on death certificate data and did not examine whether overdoses were intentional suicides or accidental deaths. Heroin has been becoming more potent and cheaper to buy, which may be causing more people to use it, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wochit
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Davis has remained jailed in lieu of $100,000 bond since his arrest May 30.
Alisha Lynn Humphrey (Photo: Knox County Detention Facility)
The scheme, which operated from March 2013 until June 2017, involved the sale of heroin and fentanyl, as well as ANPP - a Schedule II controlled substance used in the production of fentanyl, according to the presentment.
The presentment references several sales of heroin and fentanyl made within 1,000 feet of city parks and West Knoxville area schools, including Tate's School and the Knoxville Jewish Day School.
Another defendant, 32-year-old Alisha Lynn Humphrey, of Oak Ridge, is charged with two counts of reckless homicide in the Feb. 1, 2017 death of Janice Gooise and the March 11, 2017 death of Wayne McKelvey.
Scottie Lee Loop, 44, of Knoxville, also is charged with McKelvey's death.
The names of other co-defendants charged in connection with the fatal overdoses are redacted in court records released by the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk's office.
Scottie Lee Loop (Photo: Knox County Detention Facility)
All but one of the 19 known defendants were in custody at the Knox County Detention Facility on Friday. Four of those defendants are listed as Toledo, Ohio residents.
Davis and his co-defendants are set for arraignment June 18.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office allows people to anonymously submit tips on crimes they may have witnessed. Here are several ways you can submit a tip to Crime Stoppers.