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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Tennessee
For Immediate Release
Francis M. Hamilton III, United States Attorney
Thursday, January 12, 2023

Jeremy Smallwood Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Firearms and Drug Offenses

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On January 12, 2023, Jeremy Smallwood, 38, of Kingsport, Tennessee, was sentenced to life imprisonment in federal prison, by the Honorable Clifton Corker, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville.

Following a three-day trial, ending on August 25, 2022, Smallwood was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A); and three counts of knowing possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Smallwood, who had previously been convicted of multiple felony offenses, possessed firearms on three separate occasions. Additionally, at the time of his arrest by Sullivan County officers on August 17, 2020, he was in possession of not only two firearms but also heroin and marijuana that he intended to distribute.

The defendant qualified as an armed career criminal, which requires a minimum of 15 years up to life imprisonment, and was also designated a career offender under the federal sentencing guidelines. In determining the sentence, Judge Corker found that the defendant had obstructed justice by threatening witnesses with violence. The Court’s sentence reflected the defendant’s extensive criminal history, the seriousness of the offenses of conviction, and the need to protect the public from the dangers posed by this defendant.

U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee made the announcement.

The criminal indictment was the result of a joint investigation by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Kingsport Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant United States Attorneys J. Gregory Bowman and Thomas McCauley represented the United States.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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