DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
J. Douglas Overbey
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rachelle Barnes

Federal Jury Convicts Charles Edward Mason of Gun and Drug Charges

Knoxville, Tenn. – Following a four-day trial in the United States District Court at Knoxville, a jury convicted Charles Edward Mason, 53, of Clinton, Tennessee.  Evidence presented at trial showed Mason was in possession of firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon, possessed with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, brandished firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possessed firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Sentencing is set for May 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.  Mason faces a sentence of up to life in prison.

On April 24, 2019, officers responded to a 911 call alleging that Mason had threatened a woman with a handgun.  During the initial encounter with Mason, officers discovered that Mason had two handguns and over 23 grams of methamphetamine.  Mason subsequently brandished a third handgun, a revolver, and attempted to shoot the officers at the scene.  The defendant pulled the trigger multiple times, however the gun did not fire because the hammer was caught on Mason’s t-shirt.  After a short struggle, officers retrieved the firearm from Mason before taking him into custody.  The female complainant and a man who was on the scene before officers arrived testified at trial that Mason threated their lives while holding a handgun, because Mason believed they stole methamphetamine from him.

In 2010, the defendant was previously convicted of reckless homicide in Anderson County, Tennessee.

“The combination of firearms possessed by a convicted felon and the distribution of illegal drugs is an inherent danger to our communities.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work together with law enforcement to prosecute federal offenses relating to the unlawful distribution of illegal drugs,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.

“ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence, as part of Project Guardian, is focused on providing a safe environment to the communities that are affected by violent crime,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

The law enforcement agencies taking part in the joint investigation which lead to the indictment and subsequent conviction of Mason included the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Knoxville Field Office.

Assistant United States Attorneys LaToyia Carpenter and Brent Jones represented the United States.

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Nashville Field Division