For Immediate Release
Twenty-Six Individuals Indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- A federal grand jury in Greeneville returned a 24-count indictment on Jan. 14, 2014, against 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.; Harold E. Long, 61, of Tazewell, Tenn.; 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.; Troy R. Eads, 40, of Tazewell, 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., for a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
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, 2014, and one appeared in court on Jan. 21, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment.
The investigation has shown that individuals involved were 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 $10,000,000.00, 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 $250,000.00, 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 $250,000.00, 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 the Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force, Eighth Judicial Drug Task Force, Claiborne County Tennessee Sheriff’s Department, Grainger County Tennessee Sheriff’s Department, Knox County Tennessee 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.