TBI Names State Winner in 2014 Missing Children’s Poster Contest

NASHVILLE-Today, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced 11-year-old Taneiya Culp as the winner of the state’s 2013 Missing Children’s Poster Contest. Taneiya’s entry has already been submitted to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) poster contest representing of the State of Tennessee. Taneiya is a 5th grader at Boyd-Buchanan School in Chattanooga.

Taneiya Culp ArtworkThe judges chose Taneiya’s artwork because of how she clearly and creatively demonstrated the theme “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” Like so many who participated, Taneiya recognizes there are missing children around the world, not just in the United States. The 5th grader – who likes to draw, read, write stories, ride her bike, and play on her iPad – cited gymnastics as her favorite sport and shopping as her favorite hobby.

The U.S. Department of Justice, through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Child Protection Division, sponsors the annual poster contest for 5th grade students to develop artwork to represent America’s united goal to bring missing children home safely. As the clearinghouse for missing children in the State of Tennessee, TBI sponsored the contest at the state level.

Each year, more than 1.3 million children are reported missing in the country. The U.S. Department of Justice takes time to commemorate the valiant and unselfish acts of the many organizations and individuals who bring our missing children home. The winning artwork will be unveiled at the National Missing Children’s Day ceremony, to be held on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The national winner will win a trip to travel with his or her parents to Washington, D.C. to participate in the ceremony, as well as a certificate and a U.S. savings bond.

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Former Bookkeeper Charged in TBI Nonprofit Theft Case

NASHVILLE-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Woodlawn woman following a lengthy theft investigation.

At the request of District Attorney General John Carney, the TBI began investigating Lisa Forest on January 1, 2012. Forest, 48, was the bookkeeper for Griffey & Associates, as well as the Clarksville Charitable Educational Foundation.

The foundation hired Griffey & Associates to manage rental property owned by the nonprofit. In 2012, the foundation discovered Griffey & Associates kept most of the rental proceeds, dating back as far as 2008, totaling $70,124.84. Additionally, Griffey & Associates charged the nonprofit $21,139.42 for management services during the same time period. The investigation further revealed Forest kept some of the nonprofit’s proceeds for herself, and used some of it to pay other company clients.

Last week, the Montgomery County Grand Jury returned an indictment on Forest, charging her with a single count of Theft over $60,000. This morning, Forest turned herself into the Montgomery County Jail, posted $10,000 bond and was released.

Lisa Forest

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Defense Attorney Arrested, Charged In TBI Case

KNOXVILLE-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Knoxville defense attorney in connection to an ongoing investigation.

At the request of District Attorney General Greeley Wells, the TBI began investigating Bruce Edward Poston on January 22, 2014. A woman stepped forward to the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and the TBI, stating Poston was supplying her with money and pills. She also claimed a sexual relationship with Poston.

The woman told investigators the 67-year-old represented her husband in a criminal matter and further alleged Poston mishandled her husband’s case in order to further his sexual relationship with her.

During the investigation, an undercover operation corroborated the information provided by the complainant, which included the delivery of pills by Poston.

Today, the Knox County Grand Jury returned indictments on the Concord man, charging him with two counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, one count of Attempted Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and two counts of Violation of Driver’s License Law. Poston was subsequently booked into the Knox County Jail, posted a $3,000 bond, and was released. The case remains active and ongoing.

Bruce Poston

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Multi-Agency Drug Case Nets Key Arrests

NASHVILLE-As part of a multi-agency effort, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has assisted in arresting six men connected to a large cocaine and heroin operation in the Nashville area.

Those arrested and pictured from left to right below are:

  • Adrian Angel Gott, 33, from Nashville
  • Pedro Maldonado Elizondo, 46, from Houston, Texas
  • Alan Paris Martinez, 27, from Houston, Texas
  • James Howard Manning, 32, from La Vergne
  • Billandrus Keniele Caruthers, 38, from Nashville
  • Michael A. Davis, 34, from Nashville

The TBI, working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and police departments from Nashville and La Vergne, developed evidence revealing Gott was a major supplier of drugs in the Nashville area. Investigators determined the six men were involved in a long-standing operation to import and distribute 20 to 30 kilograms of cocaine and 5 to 10 kilograms of heroin each month throughout the mid-state. In one instance, investigators observed Caruthers distributing large quantities of cocaine near a Metro high school.

After several months of investigation, over the past few days, authorities served 10 search warrants and arrested the six men. Investigators also seized approximately $170,000, 5 vehicles, 6 firearms, 4 kilograms of heroin and 12 kilograms of cocaine.

The six men arrested face a variety of felony drug charges. At the time of this release, they remained in the Davidson County Jail on bond amounts of at least $250,000.

The investigation remains active and ongoing, with a possibility of additional arrests in the near future.

Adrian Gott.jpgPedro Maldonado ElizondoAlan MartinezJames ManningBillandrus CaruthersMichael Davis.jpg

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Former School Bookkeeper Arrested in TBI Theft Case

COOKEVILLE-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested a former school bookkeeper, Lois Alene Vandergriff, in an ongoing theft investigation.

The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Division of Investigations audited the records of Whitwell High School for the time period between July 1, 2009 and October 31, 2010. The investigation revealed school collections totaling at least $35,332 were misappropriated by the 49-year-old Whitwell woman, who resigned her position October 26, 2010.

The TBI opened a case at the request of District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor on October 21, 2013. Earlier this week, a Marion County Grand Jury returned two indictments for Vandergriff, charging her with Theft of Property over $10,000 and Vandalism.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department arrested Vandergriff on Thursday night, after which she was booked into the Marion County Jail and released after posting a $10,000 bond.

Lois Vandergriff

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Past Fugitive Again on state’s Most Wanted List

NASHVILLE-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has again added to the state’s Top Ten Most Wanted list, Deterines Cortae Cathey, of Columbia, TN.

Deterines Cortae Cathey is now wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for Murder in Aid of Racketeering. Last week, Cathey was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Middle Tennessee and is wanted in connection with a 2009 homicide that occurred in Columbia, TN.

In December 2013, Cathey was captured by the US Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force after being on the Most Wanted List for his involvement in an October 2013 incident that occurred in Columbia. He was charged by the Columbia Police Department for various felony charges which included Aggravated Assault. Currently, he is out on bond for those charges. The October incident is unrelated to the current charge from the FBI.

Deterines Cortae Cathey, aka “Weeda”, age 24, of Maury County, has a last known address of 130 Westview Drive in Columbia, TN. He is described as an African American male with black hair and brown eyes. He is approximately 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He has a tattoo of “KC” on his left cheek and tattoos on both arms.

Cathey is a convicted felon and he is considered dangerous. He is a confirmed “Kitchen Crips” gang member. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Deterines Cortae Cathey, aka “Weeda” is urged to call TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463). Additionally, the FBI, Maury County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbia Police Department will accept information from the public regarding Cathey’s whereabouts. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Cathey TDOC Cathey

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Murfreesboro Officer Facing Charges in TBI Misconduct Case

NASHVILLE-The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Murfreesboro police officer in connection to a misconduct investigation.

The TBI formally began investigating Officer Bryant Scott Smith on October 16, 2013, at the request of the police department and District Attorney General Bill Whitesell. Special agents determined that during the summer of 2013 Smith compromised ongoing vice and narcotic operations by providing the name of at least one potential confidential informant to a citizen of Rutherford County with a criminal history that includes offenses related to the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics.

The 10-year veteran officer later admitted his involvement in the incident, after which the Murfreesboro Police Department placed him on administrative leave with pay.

On Monday, the Rutherford County Grand Jury returned a two-count sealed indictment against the 42-year-old, charging him with Official Misconduct and Misuse of Official Information. TBI agents arrested him this afternoon without incident at the Rutherford County Jail. After being booked, Smith was released on a $5,000 bond.

Bryant Smith



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