Uber driver charged for transporting man selling Heroin & Fentanyl, agents exposed during arrest

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Narcotic Detectives with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Lebanon Police Department, along with the assistance of the Metro Nashville Police Department, conducted a lengthy investigation on the distribution of heroin and Fentanyl by 30-year-old Isaiah Richard Gates.

On Tuesday evening, agents received information that Gates would be delivering a large amount of heroin and Fentanyl to an unknown subject at a local business in the Old Hickory area by utilizing an Uber for transportation. Surveillance was conducted at the location on Lebanon Road in Old Hickory.

Isaiah Richard Gates (WCSO)

A black Chrysler arrived with an Uber emblem in the front window around 6 p.m. Gates was seen exiting the back seat. Detectives attempted to make casual contact with Gates until he recognized law enforcement and began to run. After a short foot pursuit, law enforcement made contact with Gates in the parking lot. Gates ripped open a large bag of powder heroin in an attempt to destroy the evidence.  When taking Gates into custody, several agents and Gates were heavily exposed to the heroin.  Gates was also in possession of a smaller bag of white powder believed to be Fentanyl that remained sealed. Gates was administered Narcan due to his exposure. The Uber driver, Tariku Gezahegn Bulit, was also taken into custody.

Tariku Gezahegn Bulit (WCSO)

Wilson County Emergency Management responded to the scene to assess Gates and each law enforcement officer that was exposed and to decontaminate the scene. Agents were able to collect approximately 100 grams of heroin and 8 grams of Fentanyl from the scene.

“We are continuing to see the rise of heroin and Fentanyl use on the streets that are feeding into the addictions of many of our citizens. The detectives that were involved with this investigation are to be commended for their work in taking Gates and Bulit off the street. These are very dangerous drugs that are taking the lives of many people and we are going to continue to hold the ones responsible accountable for their actions.”
–Wilson Co. Sheriff Robert Bryan.

Both Gates and Bulit were taken into custody and transported to the Wilson County Jail.  Gates is in custody on a $100,000 bond and charged with Possession of Schedule I (Heroin) with Intent for Resale, Possession of Schedule II (Fentanyl) with Intent for Resale, Reckless Endangerment x 5, and Tampering with Evidence.  Bulit was booked on a $25,000 bond and charged with Criminal Responsibility by Facilitating a Felony

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