Gang member sentenced to life for drug trafficking, firearms near school

Staff Reports • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:58 PM

Christopher Ray Moody, 30, of Nashville, was sentenced Friday to life in prison, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

A jury convicted Moody on Nov. 25 of all eight charges against him involving drug trafficking and firearms offenses.  Moody’s crimes were committed from 2008-11, and many were committed in and near specially protected areas around schools and public housing.

“This defendant had multiple previous convictions for drug trafficking, firearms and violent crime,” Rivera said. “He continued committing crimes even while on bond or on probation for state offenses.  He had no intention of turning away from a lifestyle of crime, as evidenced by the video recording introduced at trial in which he said he was taking penitentiary chances every day, and was never going to stop. The four life sentences imposed against him stops him cold, and helps protect this community and the children at the elementary school near his drug house. This is another example of using federal laws to remove armed recidivist gang members from our streets."

According to the proof at trial, Moody was a 98 Mafia Crip street gang member and repeatedly cooked multiple ounces of crack cocaine for distribution at a home near Jones Paideia Elementary School in Nashville. Moody kept firearms at this location, including a compact semi-automatic-style firearm, which he had previously obtained in a drug transaction.

Moody was arrested on unrelated state charges in April 2009. While he was in jail on the charges, investigators determined Moody had instructed his girlfriend to hold his drugs and a gun for him so that he could start drug trafficking again when he completed his state sentence. Moody was released from custody in May 2010, and evidence showed he went back to drug trafficking at the same home.

A federal search warrant was issued in February 2011 and resulted in Moody’s arrest, as well as the seizure of evidence showing he cooked crack cocaine. Shotgun shells were also found at the home, and the trial proof showed Moody possessed a shotgun at that location during drug deals. Moody was also a previously convicted felon and was found to be illegally in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted to the investigation. Assistant U.S. attorneys Sunny A.M. Koshy and Lynne T. Ingram served as prosecutors.

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