GREENEVILLE — An Erwin man previously charged with offenses related to the manufacture of methamphetamine was sentenced to spend 14 years in prison at a Wednesday hearing in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
Joseph Banner, 34, of Erwin, was sentenced to serve 170 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan.
According to a release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Banner pleaded guilty to a federal indictment filed in September 2012 that charged Banner and 20 others with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The release said all have been convicted and sentenced to serve time in federal prison, and additional separate but related conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine cases are currently being prosecuted in federal court.
The methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy that Banner admitted to being a part of involved a network of overlapping associates that relied on coordinated efforts to procure methamphetamine precursors, which they then used to make methamphetamine through the “shake and bake” method, the release said.
“Banner was a prolific methamphetamine cook and the remnants of numerous cooks were recovered by law enforcement from the property surrounding his residence,” the release said.
“The drugs the conspirators were responsible for making were being distributed both for profit and for use by people within the conspiracy.”
The indictment and Banner’s subsequent conviction were the result of a collaborative and ongoing investigation conducted by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Erwin Police Department, First Judicial District Drug Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration.