Drug organization manager sentenced in federal court - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Drug organization manager sentenced in federal court

Marcus Turner Marcus Turner
Vacha Vaughn Vacha Vaughn

(WMC-TV) - A "manager" in the Craig Petties drug organization will spend 438 months in federal prison.

Judge Samuel Hardy Mays sentenced Vacha Vaughn Friday morning after Vaughn pleaded guilty to one count of distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine.

"His involvement in the Craig Petties organization is pronounced," Assistant United States Attorney David Pritchard said.

Much of the hearing was sealed, meaning reporters were not allowed in the courtroom, but prosecutors say Vaughn was also involved in luring another member of the Petties organization, Marcus Turner, to his death.

Upon hearing his sentence, Vaughn dropped his head in disgust.

"He is the author of his own misfortune here, at every level," Mays said at sentencing.

A grieving mother could not be happier. Lucy Turner is still living with the horrors of Petties operation. Her son was kidnapped, tortured, shot, and killed by colleagues who lured him to his death.

"He did not deserve to die," said Turner. "No, he did not. Nobody's child should have to go through that again. So, we have to do something to curb these drugs."

Vaughn faced between 30 years and life after pleading guilty to a drug charge.

"Absent Mr. Vaughn's information, we believe Mr. Turner's murder would've never been solved," said Vaughn's defense attorney, Mark McDaniel.

Defense attorney Mark McDaniel argued for leniency based on Vaughn helping the government prosecute other Petties associates for Turner's murder.

But the judge sentenced Vaughn to 36.5 years anyway.

"We'd asked for 10 years, which was the minimum mandatory. Realistically, 20 to 25 I would've felt like would've been a victory. Obviously the judge felt differently," said McDaniel.

Petties himself pleaded guilty but has yet to be sentenced.

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