Nine Persons Jailed in Marijuana Trafficking Conspiracy
January 24, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A lengthy investigation that intensified over the past eight months into the trafficking of hundreds of pounds of marijuana from California to Nashville has resulted in the arrests today and Thursday of nine persons charged with engaging in a drug conspiracy.
Nashvillians John Mason Houghland
, 39, of 312 Harpeth View Circle, and Brian Bailey
, 40, of 6809 Bridgewater Drive, are alleged to have been the local principals who received numerous shipments of high-grade West Coast marijuana and then distributed it in small quantities to Middle Tennessee street dealers. It was a lucrative business, as Houghland and Bailey are alleged to have paid between $3,000 and $3,600 per pound. The marijuana would arrive in Nashville by couriers and, more recently, concealed in shipping containers transported by commercial carriers.
One of the nine persons arrested, George Auzans
, 64, of Sebastopol, California, is alleged to have been a major supplier to Houghland and Bailey. Auzans was taken into custody Thursday at a local motel. Detectives believe that Auzans intended on leaving Nashville with a large cash payment.
Bailey and Auzans are jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond each. Houghland is jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Other defendants are identified as:
- Cheryl Brashears, 46, of Dickson, who is alleged to have been a courier who transported marijuana across the country. Brashears was actually stopped in Utah while transporting 127 pounds of marijuana which authorities believe was destined for Tennessee. She is jailed in lieu of $150,000 bond.
- Charwan Houghland, 39, John Mason Houghland’s wife, who is alleged to have, from time to time, received payment for marijuana fronted to street dealers. She is jailed in lieu of $75,000 bond.
- Amy Bailey, 37, Brian Bailey’s wife, who is alleged to have received payment for marijuana fronted to street dealers. She is jailed in lieu of $75,000 bond.
- Trimeco Martin, 38, of 124 Fergus Road, who is alleged to have distributed/resold marijuana supplied to him by Brian Bailey. He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond.
- Andrew Moore, 34, of 7676 Charlotte Pike, who is alleged to have allowed his home to be used as a drop place/stash house for marijuana shipments and cash.
- Ronald Rowlette, 43, of 917 Wemberton Drive, who is alleged to have moved and hidden marijuana in an effort to avoid law enforcement detection. He is also alleged to have received marijuana for resale on multiple occasions from Brian Bailey.
On Thursday, 48 pounds of marijuana were seized from a stash house at 407 Hunt Club Road near Percy Warner Park. Thus far, more than $300,000 cash has been seized, as well as the assets of the alleged co-conspirators. Several guns, including a .50-caliber rifle, were seized from John Mason Houghland’s home during his arrest Thursday.
Another man alleged to be connected to this case is Conor Guckian, 33, of Carmichael California, who was arrested at Nashville International Airport on January 13th while trying to charter a private jet for a trip to California. Guckian was carrying $153,334 cash, which is now alleged to have been marijuana proceeds. Guckian was charged with money laundering. He is free on $10,000 bond.
This complex investigation, which is being conducted by Metro police officers assigned to the 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force, is actively continuing.