Detroit drug dealer nabbed in Knoxville

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David L. Jordan

An alleged drug dealer who hails from Detroit, Mich., was busted in Knoxville this week with large amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana, authorities said Wednesday.

David L. Jordan, 49, who has been living at a house on Keith Avenue, was taken into custody Tuesday by Knoxville police officers working alongside a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency task force. He faces a slew of drug- and gun-related charges and was being held in the Knox County jail system in lieu of $33,000 bond, records show.

He could also face federal charges in connection with the bust, but that decision hadn’t been made as of Wednesday. 

“Federal charges are certainly possible but the case would have to be adopted by the US Attorney’s Office in order for that to happen,” said KPD spokesperson Scott Erland.

Authorities say the vast majority of hard drugs found on Knoxville’s streets are from Detroit. 

Jordan is only the latest one of dozens of Detroit residents who have been arrested locally for trafficking in illegal drugs, primarily narcotic painkillers such as heroin and fentanyl, over the past decade or so. Since 2017, well over 2,000 people have died in Knox County from drug overdoses.

Many other Detroit natives have been killed, injured or arrested for killing and wounding other people on the streets of Knoxville and surrounding communities.

Jordan was identified as an illegal drug supplier in the Western Avenue area of Knoxville about a month ago by officials from the 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force in Anderson County, Erland said.

Like many drug dealers, he allegedly drove to meet his customers at various locations around town in his black  Chevrolet Silverado, and by Tuesday he’d unknowingly sold drugs twice to informants or undercover cops, according to warrants filed by Investigator Phil Jinks of KPD’s Organized Crime Unit.

The officers set up a third controlled buy in a parking lot on Western Avenue and then conducted a traffic stop. While Jordan was being detained, a K-9 unit alerted to the presence of drugs in the truck, which gave the officers the necessary probable cause to search the vehicle, Jinks said. 

They soon found a potato chip bag that contained approximately eight ounces of what appeared to be methamphetamine. The next step in the investigation was to search the house on Keith Avenue, which they did after obtaining a search warrant, he continued.

Inside the master bedroom, Jinks and the other officers found two pounds of methamphetamine, one ounce of heroin, a loaded Taurus .45:caliber pistol, a loaded FN 9 mm pistol, digital scales and a hydraulic press. They also found a marijuana growing operation with 11 plants, grow lights, and other pieces of equipment, according to court records.

Jinks said a records check revealed that Jordan had a 1998 federal drug trafficking conviction in Michigan and another felony in Pennsylvania in 2013.

He was charged Tuesday with the sale and delivery of meth and heroin; manufacturing marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia; being a felon in possession of a weapon, and possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony, said Erland.

“The 7th Judicial District Crime Task Force really deserves a lot of credit since the investigation originated there and they played a significant role throughout,” he added. “Additionally, we would want to specifically single out Investigator Jinks, who is an exceptional officer and investigator. In fact, he was one of our 2020 Officer of the Year recipients.”

 Published on September 29, 2022.