Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Columbia, Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Conspiracy and to Threatening to Retaliate Against a Government Witness
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – March 17, 2016 – Justin Harris, 43, a/k/a “Cole,” of Columbia, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today before Chief U.S. District Judge Kevin A. Sharp, to conspiracy to possess and distribute between 150 and 500 grams of methamphetamine, and to threatening to retaliate against a government witness, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
According to the facts contained in the plea agreement, Harris admitted to conspiring with others to obtain, possess, and distribute methamphetamine in Savannah and Columbia, Tennessee in June 2015. During the investigation, law enforcement officers obtained evidence that Harris was selling significant quantities of methamphetamine from a residence in Columbia, Tenn. During one of the drug transactions, Harris, who had begun to suspect that the government informant was working with law enforcement, confronted the informant with that suspicion. Over the next several days, Harris repeatedly threatened to kill the informant.
On June 29, 2015, a search warrant was executed at the residence in Columbia where Harris had been selling methamphetamine. During the search, agents recovered numerous rounds of ammunition, drug paraphernalia and prescription pills. Law enforcement officers also searched a truck that was parked in the driveway of the residence. Inside the truck, they recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson, MP 40, .40 caliber firearm, two digital scales, and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Harris admitted to owning the gun, paraphernalia, and the methamphetamine.
Harris is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20, 2016 and according to the terms of the plea agreement; he agrees to be sentenced to 168 months in prison.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and the Maury County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Schrader.