NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An alleged dealer who reportedly sold pounds of drugs to homeless people in West Nashville is now facing murder charges out of Brentwood.
According to Brentwood police, on May 25th of this year 26-year-old Michaela Speck traveled to West Nashville and bought methamphetamines from alleged drug dealer Randall Merryman.
According to Investigators, the mother of two small children later ingested the meth at a Brentwood motel where she overdosed and eventually died.
Brentwood Police Assistant Chief Richard Hickey said, “This was a young woman who had a bright future. Two young children now don’t have a mother because of these drug sales.”
Brentwood police worked the overdose investigation, gathering leads which pointed them to Merryman.
Hickey said, “These are difficult cases to make. Obviously, your best witness is now deceased and you have to deal with people in the drug trade.”
For the next four months, Brentwood police, working with Metro undercover agents and the Drug Related Death Task Force, led officers to the Charlotte Pike motel where Merryman reportedly had three rooms facing the back parking lot.
Metro detectives told News 2, “This individual sold multiple pounds of narcotics on a daily basis.”
According to investigators, the 41-year-old operated out of the Charlotte Pike motel, keeping rooms in the back because he was allegedly catering to his homeless clientele that live in several homeless camps in the woods behind the motel.
Police told News 2 the operation was out of sight, allowing the drugs to be sold more freely.
According to investigators, each week Merryman sold a pound of meth and a pound of heroin, some laced with fentanyl.
Police say as many as 20 to 30 people a day, many of them homeless, bought the drugs from Merryman.
“He exploited their weaknesses and took advantage for his own gains,” an undercover office explained.
When police arrested Merryman, he had $23,000 in cash, 34 guns, thousands of bullets and more than a pound of meth.
Drug agents say the homeless people often committed crimes in the community to get the money to purchase the drugs that Merryman allegedly sold.
After his arrest on the drug charges, Merryman was held in the Metro jail on a $150,000 bond.
Meanwhile, Brentwood police completed their investigation into the overdose death of Michaela Speck, and on Thursday, police charged Merryman with second degree murder.
The West Nashville man was transferred to the Williamson County Jail where he was held under an additional $200,000 bond.
“We always work really hard for our victims, and we feel for this family. This family, their lives have changed forever. Their lives will never be the same and we realize that. So we want people to know that we work for the victims, but we also want the drug dealers to know that we take these cases seriously. We are not turning a blind eye. We are looking hard at it,” Hickey said.
Investigators told News 2 Merryman was also the focal point of multiple overdose death investigations in multiple counties.
“Our court system is very hard on drug dealers. We realize the impact it has throughout the community. It’s not just on the people using the drugs, but on the families. The impact is huge, so we make a big emphasis on these cases,” Hickey added.