Two Tazewell men were among 26 people indicted by a federal grand jury in Greeneville last week.
Harold E. Long, 61, and Troy R. Eads, 40, both of Tazewell, were included in the 24-count indictment returned on Jan. 14. The indictment is for a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Several of those indicted are from the surrounding area.
Others indicted by the grand jury were John A. Ayers, a.k.a. Blondie, 31, of Rutledge, Tenn.; Gary S. Valentine, 53, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Victor M. Lynn, 51, of Rutledge, Tenn.; Paula W. Teague, 45, of Fairmont, Ga.; Eric R. Sizemore, 37, of East Berndstadt, Ky.; Drew A. Gregg, Jr., 36, of Newport, Tenn.; Joseph A. Jackson, a.k.a. Joey Jackson, 47, of Russellville, Tenn.; Teresa J. Turner, a.k.a. Terri Red, 52, of Whitesburg, Tenn.; Charles E. Bishop, a.k.a. Chucky, 51, of Whitesburg, Tenn.; Donna S. Roberts, 58, of Thorn Hill, Tenn.; Casper G. Hurley, 39, of McKee, Ky.; Robert D. Purkey, 43, of White Pine, Tenn.; Christopher M. Lawson, 35, of Rutledge, Tenn.; James E. Hayes, 56, of Talbott, Tenn.; Bradley S. Johnson, 29, of Bean Station, Tenn.; Lisa A. Meece, 35, of Mooresburg, Tenn.; Stephanie Ellis, 22, of Rutledge, Tenn.; Phillip R. McNeil, Jr., 31, of Corryton, Tenn.; Floyd S. Simpson, 44, of Taylor, Mich.; Jeffrey W. Flynn, 33, of Mascot, Tenn.; Adam W. Houchins, 32, of Mooresburg, Tenn.; Amanda C. Roach, 36, of Rutledge, Tenn.; Luciano Castro, 74, of Savannah, Ga.; and Smokey E. Fleenor, 32, of Morristown, Tenn.
In addition, Ayers, Valentine, Lynn, Gregg, and Jackson, were indicted for firearms violations, including possessing a firearm and/or after having been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of more than one year in prison, or for being a drug addict. Lynn and Jackson were also indicted for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
Thirteen of these individuals appeared in court on Jan. 16, and one appeared in court on Jan. 21, before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment.
According to a release from the U.S. District Court, the investigation has shown that individuals involved were allegedly obtaining methamphetamine from individuals in Georgia and were distributing these drugs in Tennessee and Kentucky.
If convicted, all face a minimum and mandatory term of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life, a maximum fine of $10,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least five years.
In addition, Ayers, Valentine, Lynn, Gregg and Jackson face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years, as to the possession of firearms by a prohibited person charges. Lynn and Jackson, face a mandatory minimum and mandatory five year sentence up to life, which by statute must be served consecutively with any other prison term imposed, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised up to five years as to the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime charges. All also face mandatory court assessments.
This indictment is the result of an investigation by several agencies, including the Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force, Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force, Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department, Grainger County Sheriff’s Department, Knox County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Department, Knoxville Police Department, Bean Station Police Department, Rutledge Police Department, Morristown Police Department, Kentucky State Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn L. Hebets will represent the United States.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Marisa Anders my be reached at 423-626-3222 or on Twitter @newsgirl88.