DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 28, 2020
J. Douglas Overbey
, United States Attorney
Contact: Rachelle Barnes

Rogersville Man Sentenced to 15 Years on Methamphetamine and Firearm Charges

Greeneville, Tenn. – On May 26, 2020, Anthony Dwayne Sensabaugh, 33, currently of Rogersville, was sentenced by the Honorable Clifton L. Corker, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville. Sensabaugh pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Sensabaugh was sentenced to 180 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

In 2017, the Third Judicial District’s Drug Task Force (DTF) made controlled purchases of methamphetamine and heroin from Sensabaugh. As a result, the DTF and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Sensabaugh’s residence. During the authorized search, law enforcement officers were able to recover 17.93 grams of heroin, 14.12 grams of a cocaine-base substance, 14.83 grams of cocaine, 52.24 grams of methamphetamine, 33.36 grams of marijuana, and a loaded .25 caliber pistol.

On February 4, 2019, deputies of the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office arrested Sensabaugh for another offense. During an interview, Sensabaugh admitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office that he frequently made purchases of methamphetamine in actual quantities of four to eight ounces weekly prior to the search warrant executed back in 2017.

“Our office fully supports our law enforcement partners’ investigative efforts to address the resurgence of heroin and other drugs within our region. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute individuals involved in the illegal drug and weapon activities that continue to plague our state,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.

“Utilizing two of the DOJ’s national strategies to prevent crime, Project Guardian and Project Safe Neighborhood, this joint collaboration between local, state, and federal partners helped to ensure there is one less gun on the streets that can be used to perpetuate criminal activity. This focused investigation and future investigations like it will have a lasting impact within our community,” ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Frank Haera stated.

“This is a great example of local and federal law enforcement agencies working closely to eradicate dangerous drug dealers out of our communities. The drug dealer’s residence was located across the street from a middle school, which jeopardized the safety and well-being of FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Rachelle Barnes May 28, 2020 Public Information Officer (865) 545-4167school staff and its students,” said Sheriff Ronnie Lawson of the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.

The criminal indictment resulted from an investigation by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, the Third Judicial District’s Drug Task Force, and ATF.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Martin represented the United States in court.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information, please visit this site:


Nashville Field Division