NASHVILLE (WSMV) - A Nashville heroin distributor was sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin.
According to US District Attorney General Don Cochran's Office, 40-year-old Brandon Bradford was convicted by a federal jury in November after a four-day trial.
Bradford, a Chicago native, was indicted in May 2016 with Nashville native 33-year-old Krystin Pape; 33-year-old Terrell "Tank" Pierson of Chicago; and 35-year-old Justin "Fat Boy" Joplin of Chicago. All later pleaded guilty. Pierson and Joplin were previously sentenced to ten years in federal prison, Pape will be sentenced next week.
An investigation into heroin trafficking by Metro Police and the FBI in 2015 identified Bradford as a heroin supplier who was obtaining large quantities of heroin from Chicago.
Bradford conspired with several others, including Pape, Pierson and Joplin, to obtain multiple kilograms of heroin from the Chicago area on a regular basis and to distribute that heroin in the Nashville area from around September of 2014 through April 20, 2016. Based on the evidence at trial, Bradford was conservatively responsible for more than 18 kilograms of heroin that were sold on the streets of Nashville.
The evidence at trial revealed that the amounts transported from the Chicago area for distribution in Nashville during the conspiracy ranged from approximately 50-100 grams and increased quickly to kilogram quantities as the conspiracy progressed.
As the operation grew larger, Bradford directed Pierson and Joplin, his half-brother, to move from the Chicago area to Nashville to assist him in running the operation, along with Pape. They all shared a home in the Bellevue area where they frequently repackaged and prepared heroin for delivery to customers in Nashville. Bradford, as the leader of the operation, determined the pricing for the heroin and controlled the money.
Pape and Joplin were arrested when a search warrant was executed at the home on Stacy Drive, on April 20, 2016, and Pierson was arrested shortly thereafter. Bradford was arrested 15 months later, in August 2017, at a hotel in New Albany, Indiana, after being actively sought by law enforcement.
At the time of his arrest, Bradford was in possession of more than 300 grams of heroin.