Cellmates 

Gamble housed with man he testified against

Gamble housed with man he testified against

In late February, former Crossville lawyer Jake Gamble and Larry Sangaree found themselves sharing a cramped jail cell, with an open toilet, in the Gilchrist County sheriff’s office jail in Trenton, Fla. This was in direct violation of a court directive that said the two felons should not even be housed in the same prison facility.

There was a reason for separating the two. Gamble had testified against Sangaree.

Both men had earlier pled guilty to money laundering charges in connection with a $60 million international scheme with connections to Middle Tennessee. (See Nashville Scene: “One Man’s Gamble,” Feb. 25.)

Gamble and Sangaree had been brought to northern Florida to testify against two other co-conspirators. Gamble and Sangaree are cooperating with authorities in return for reduced sentences.

In 1997, Gamble had testified against Sangaree, who was a convicted murderer. Gamble was worried that Sangaree might retaliate against him. This also concerned Bob Washko, an assistant U.S. attorney in Nashville who prosecuted Gamble.

Following procedures, Washko requested a “separation notice” mandating that Gamble couldn’t be housed in the same facility with Sangaree.

So what were they doing in the same jail cell?

It was the U.S. Marshal’s Service that had transported Gamble and Sangaree, in ankle chains, to the Gilchrist County jail. A marshal’s service spokesman said his office “never got the paperwork” on Gamble. The file was supposed to have been delivered to the marshal’s service by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. A bureau spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., said she is barred by federal regulations from commenting on the “status of an inmate.”

The prisoners were separated only after Washko called the marshal’s service in Florida after being alerted to the problem by a reporter.

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