On June 12, 16 people, most of whom are Tennessee residents, were indicted on drug-related charges. This followed an investigation that lasted several months into methamphetamine trafficking in the northeast part of the state. Several federal and local law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation. Among those that participated were the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspector, the Third Judicial Drug Task Force and several sheriffs' departments.
The people indicted ranged in age from 25 to 48. All were charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 or more grams of meth. A number of the individuals are also facing additional charges such as possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime and money laundering.
The methamphetamine conspiracy charge could carry a penalty of life in prison. Three of the defendants are facing two firearm charges, and this carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison.
Drug charges can be serious whether they are merely for possession or are for manufacturing and distribution. A person who is facing drug-related charges may want to consult an attorney about the best way to handle the situation. For example, the prosecution might be pushing the person to accept a plea bargain. With a plea bargain, a person waives the right to a trial and pleads guilty, often to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter penalty. While a plea bargain might be the best choice in some cases, there might other cases when the evidence of the prosecution is weak or even illegally obtained. An attorney may be able to get a case dismissed if the person's rights were violated while being taken into custody. Some people may prefer to plead not guilty and have a trial.
Source: WJHL, "List: Grand jury indicts 16 in Northeast Tennessee meth distribution conspiracy case", Fadell Pitts, June 22, 2018