Johnson City Press Saturday, August 23, 2014

Follow me on:


News Crime Local News

Combatting meth: Four-year operation ends

January 17th, 2014 5:24 pm by Becky Campbell

Combatting meth: Four-year operation ends


A methamphetamine-production ring investigation started more than four years ago by local authorities, then later taken over by federal officials, closed out last week with the final sentencing in U.S. District Court.


The initial investigation began in late 2009 with the discovery of one-pot meth bottles discarded along a road in Gray. Officials said that first find grew to cover numerous communities in Washington County as well as areas in Carter and Greene counties.


In the end, 58 people — mostly what authorities call “smurfs,” who are people who purchase the ingredients to make meth in exchange for the finished product — were charged with either making the drug or conspiring to make it.


Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal hosted a joint news conference Friday that included officers from Erwin, Unicoi County, Johnson City, the Drug Enforcement Administration and District Attorney General Tony Clark.


Other agencies also participated in the lengthy investigation, including police from Elizabethton and Kingsport, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Sullivan County sheriff, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Tennessee Meth Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted all 58 defendants.


“Interagency cooperation is a necessity in these types of investigations due to numerous individuals who cross county lines in order to procure meth lab precursors used in the manufacture of methamphetamine,” Graybeal said.


The first federal arrest in the case occurred in October 2011 and the last person was sentenced Jan. 10.


“It speaks to the effort law enforcement makes in our area to make sure that people have a good place to live and work and grow their families,” Graybeal said. “This problem is probably something that won’t go away.”


That thought, however, won’t stop area officers from doing their best to fight drug production.


Meth is highly addictive and made with caustic chemicals such as lye, lithium battery strips, drain cleaner and lantern fuel. The mixture and process of making, or cooking, the drug is also dangerous and many people are injured in the process when the mixture explodes.


Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said that one of every three children removed from homes and placed into Department of Children’s Services custody come from homes where someone has been making meth.


Tennessee was second in the nation for the number of meth labs in 2012, and Clark said East Tennessee is a high producer of the drug.


He pushed for these cases to be tried in federal court because of longer sentences when someone is convicted as well as a no-parole system.


“In federal court, when you get 10 years you spend 10 years, as opposed to getting a 10-year sentence in state court, (where) you’ll spend one third of that, then you get half that off for good time,” Clark said.


He also said meth makers put a huge impact on taxpayers.


I don’t think the public realizes to what degree the taxpayers are responsible for paying for people to have attorneys, paying for kids that are taken from homes, paying for burn center victims that have no insurance and all of it is a result of what you see over here on the table ... of people making methamphetamine,” he said, pointing to a display of meth ingredients.


That doesn’t include the thousands of dollars required to clean up dump sites where multiple one-pot meth labs are discarded.


Clark and others at the news conference are hopeful a legislation proposal from Gov. Bill Haslam will become law and make a difference.


The proposal would pull pseudoephedrine products off store shelves and would require a doctor’s prescription for someone to purchase it.


“I would like to see it become a prescription drug,” Clark said.

Earlier version of story:

Two methamphetamine conspiracies have resulted in the convictions of 58 people on federal charges (see booking photos for those available below):

1. Rodney A. Adkins, Jr., age 24, General Delivery, Elizabethton; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 84 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

2. James F. Arnn, age 46, General Delivery, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 70 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

3. Ricky D. Birchfield, age 42, 245 Spurgeon Island Rd., Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 92 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

4. Leroy M. Bowser, age 44, 269 Dogwood Lane #17, Kingsport; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 140 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

5. Lowell K. Bowser age 46 Roscoe Fitz Rd Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 120 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

6. Vernon L Bowser age 47 Freehill Rd Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 240 months prison time and 240 months supervised release.

7. Tristan A. Brewer age 26 General Delivery; Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 6 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

8. Terra B Bugg, age 41, 3500 11E Motel # 30, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a place to manufacture Meth. Sentence: 37 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

9. Thomas A Bugg, age 52, 3500 11E Motel # 30, Johnson City, 3500 11E Motel # 30, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a place to manufacture Meth. Sentence: 92 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

10. Stephen Eric Burgner, age 32, 217 Knob Creek Dock Rd #17, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine. Sentence: 96 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

11. Edward G. Cato, age 45, General Delivery, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

12. Mark W. Crable, Jr,, age 25, 1972 Hwy 81 South, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 94 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

13. Ralph E. Davenport, age 40, General Delivery, Elizabethton; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 114 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

14. Sierra E. Ferguson, age 22, 308 Weaver Hill Rd., Elizabethton; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months supervised release.

15. Dashauna L. Frye, age 38, 440 Possum Hollow Rd., Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 51 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

16. Scotty R. Frye, age 43, 141 Northwood Ave., Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 100 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

17. Kirk D. Gauthier, age 24, 225 Oak Grove Rd., Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 97 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

18. Jimmy D. Hale, age 56, 381 Possum Hollow Rd., #10 Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months supervised release.

19. Tavia N. Harris, age 33, 1916 Darnell Dr., Kingsport; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months supervised release.

20. Neil Hensley, age 39, 3197 Unicoi Dr., Unicoi; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 16 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

21. Gregg P. Herron, age 43, General Delivery, Kingsport; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 33 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

22. Brandon C. Holder, age 31, General Delivery, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 70 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

23. Harold D. Hollifield, age 53, 504 Butchertown Rd., Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 24 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

24. Timothy K. Honeycutt, Sr., age 50, 113 McInturf Ln, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 108 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

25. Timothy K. Honeycutt, Jr., age 24, 113 McInturf Ln, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

26. Charles A. Jones, Sr., age 44, 115 Greene County Lane Road, Chuckey; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 135 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

27. Heather A. Jones, age 31, 114 Greene County Lane, Road Chuckey; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 97 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

28. James Brandon Kimes, age 27, 136 Greyland Drive, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine. Sentence: 200 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

29. Martin B. Kitzmiller, age 45, 309 Kitzmiller Rd, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 72 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

30. William T. Koenig, age 36, 292 Snyder Rd Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 92 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

31. Nancy L. Lafollette, age 53, 381 Possum Hollow Rd., #10 Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 78 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

32. John F. Landers, II, age 25, 1041 Pickens Bridge Rd, Piney Flats; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

33. Amanda D. Lowe, age 36, 144 Buttermilk Rd, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 7 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

34. Carla N. Lowe, age 22 , 657 Herb Hodge Road, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a place to manufacture Meth. Sentence: 46 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

35. Monroe E. Lowe, age 27 , 3077 Highway 81 South, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a place to manufacture Meth. Sentence: 72 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

36. Josh D. Mabery, age 38, 2011 Circle Court, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 87 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

37. Teresa J. Markland, age 44, 525 Cherry Grove Rd, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 30 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

38. Renee Martius, age 34, 105 Welcome Court, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 30 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

39. Jason D. McCurry, age 31, General Delivery, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

40. John M. McGuire, age 26, 102 Franklin Place #5, Elizabethton; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence: 84 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

41. Kimberly A. Molnar, age 45, 818 Lamont St. #4, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 24 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

42. Bryan S. Paul, age 53, 2103 Hwy 81 South, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 30 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

43. Lindsey R. Phipps, age 21, 11 Plum Tree Court, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 37 months prison time and 48 months supervised release

44. Tommy Proffitt, Sr., age 60, 528 Rock Hill Rd, Watauga; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 57 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

45. James M. Rhodes, age 46, General Delivery, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 120 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

46. Andrew D. Rowland, age 42, 102 Greene County Line Road, Chuckey; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 46 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

47. Leanne N. Scalf, age 30, 879 Blue Springs Rd, Elizabethton; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 30 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

48. Joshua L. Scarlett, age 29, 180 Rock Quarry Rd, Afton; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 84 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

49. Tammy Shelton, age 42, 120 Beech Grove Rd, Telford; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 120 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

50. Allen Casey Story, age 28, 1738 Persinger Dr #3, Watauga; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute and Possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine, Possession of equipment used to manufacture Methamphetamine. Sentence: 60 months Prison time and 48 months supervised release.

51. David L. Tucker, age 24, 164 Blue Friday Rd, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 42 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

52. Ronnie L. Tucker, age 45, 164 Blue Friday Rd, Gray; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 84 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

53. Cindy M. Waters, age 51, 504 Butchertown Rd, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 70 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

54. James S. White, age 31, 1925 Roaring Creek Rd, Roan Mountain; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 77 months prison time and 36 months supervised release.

55. Danny Burl W. Wilcox, age 38, 195 Hopper Rd, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 120 months prison time and 60 months supervised release.

56. Devin M. Wiley, age 22, 3697 Greenwood Dr, Jonesborough; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sentence: 100 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

57. Linda A. Woolfrey, age 49, 269 Dogwood Lane #17, Kingsport; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 57 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.

58. Joshua E. York, age 39, 103 Sevier St #2, Johnson City; Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentence 69 months prison time and 48 months supervised release.


Additional Photos

comments powered by Disqus