Tequila Marsh, 41, of Nashville, was sentenced Wednesday to serve 137 months in prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, for assaulting a U.S. Postal Inspector and for failing to appear for a sentencing hearing, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
“Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers place themselves in harm’s way every day to protect the rest of us,” said Rivera. “When individuals engage in criminal conduct and place our law enforcement officers and the public in danger of physical harm, it is a serious matter that warrants serious consequences. Those individuals should know that they will be held accountable for their crimes.”
According to testimony at a guilty plea hearing conducted on April 5, 2012, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department were investigating a check fraud scheme that began in August of 2009. On Dec. 2, 2009, a postal inspector received a telephone call from a manager at the Brentwood Post Office, reporting an individual who previously had presented a fraudulent check at that post office had returned and was attempting to purchase stamps. Postal inspectors immediately responded to that post office and questioned the individual.
That individual provided the postal inspectors a false name and told them that he had arrived at the post office in a “brown truck” driven by his sister. He said the truck was in a shared retail parking lot immediately west of the post office.
While interviewing the individual, the inspectors observed a champagne-colored Chevrolet Suburban that matched the description of a vehicle reportedly used in previous incidents of check fraud. The postal inspectors approached the Suburban and one of them displayed his badge and identified himself as a police officer to Marsh, who was the driver of the Suburban. Marsh was subsequently ordered to park the vehicle, but instead, rapidly accelerated toward one of the inspectors, causing him to take evasive action to avoid being struck by the vehicle. The vehicle then sped from the parking lot, narrowly avoiding a collision with on-coming traffic.
On Dec. 7, 2009, the U.S. filed a criminal complaint and obtained an arrest warrant for Marsh, charging her with assaulting a federal officer. That arrest warrant was executed on Dec. 10, 2009. At the time of her arrest, Marsh admitted that she had delivered her cousin to the Brentwood Post Office and that she knew he intended to do something illegal. She acknowledged that she heard and understood the commands of the postal inspectors to park her car, but did not do so.
Marsh entered a guilty plea April 5, 2012 to the charge of assaulting a federal officer and her sentencing hearing was scheduled for July 12, 2012. Marsh failed to appear for that sentencing hearing and a bench warrant was issued authorizing her arrest.
During the early morning hours of May 29, the Nashville Crime Stoppers program received a tip that Marsh was at a hotel in Nashville. Officers from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department responded to that hotel and arrested Marsh.
Officers with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Metro Nashville Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. attorney Byron Jones prosecuted the case.