As deputies and drug officers catalogued evidence at a Faulkner Road home Friday morning, a teenager stood in the driveway, patiently waiting in front of half a dozen marked and unmarked patrol cars. Head held high, thumbs under the straps of his backpack.
He nodded to one of the dozen deputies searching the house and boarded the full school bus with Maurice Nash in the back of a patrol car.
It was just before 7 a.m., three hours into Tipton County’s largest multi-agency compliance effort dubbed Operation Crime Driver, and their biggest arrest was in progress.
A couple of minutes later a woman pulls up in a gray car and hurriedly throws the car into park. Emotional, she gets out, a preschooler in tow, and tells cameraman she doesn’t want to be filmed as she makes her way to the house to ask questions.
“We have been dealing with Maurice Nash for almost three decades,” Sheriff Pancho Chumley said.
Most of the other deputies say the same thing when Nash’s name is mentioned, recalling their own memories of arresting the 45-year-old.
Nash, who was recently released from prison, had 22 pages of criminal history in Tipton County alone prior to his arrest Friday.
In August 1992 he was charged first with speeding, then with assaulting a police officer and interfering with police. Over a quarter century he’s been charged with 99 total violations, including speeding, drug possession, theft, evading arrest, domestic assault, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with injury, possessing a firearm, reckless endangerment, trespassing, tampering with evidence and especially aggravated kidnapping.
Friday’s five charges have him at more than 100 charges.
Behind the house, a deputy comforts the woman from the gray car while the small child is led across the property to a neighboring house, hand-in-hand with another woman.
Deputies photograph the dogs behind the house and discuss the "substantial amount" of ecstasy and marijuana, cash and guns found at the home.
None of this is new territory – not for law enforcement, not for his family – but his being a felon still under the supervision of the Board of Probation and Parole and having the weapons and drugs he had in his home will mean more time behind bars.
“We seized a stolen pistol and also a rifle and drugs. How hard-headed can you be? You just got out of prison,” the sheriff poses, rhetorically, during an interview with the media after Nash was booked. “We’ve fooled with him for over two decades. I guess he’ll get the message this time. It’s going to get stronger on him.”
Being a felon in possession of a firearm is a federal offense and Friday’s operation could likely result in Nash being prosecuted by both the district attorney’s office and the U.S. attorney’s office.
“Most importantly, he’s off the streets,” said District Attorney General Mark Davidson. “That’s public safety improvement for Tipton County and I think it helps send a message to other people like him that they’ll be joining him soon. I like to say that if you capture the attention of both me and (U.S. Attorney) Mike Dunavant you’ve earned it.”