Tennessee, like many places in the United States right now, is facing down the challenge of an opioid-fueled methamphetamine epidemic. It seems there is constant news coverage of drug busts and the dangerous and often deadly overdoses of the customers of those fledgling operations that are cropping up to meet the ever-growing demand for meth.
The Tennessean reported on the bust of a meth lab at a home where four suspects were charged with manufacturing meth, unlawful gun possession during the commission of a felony, and possession of drugs in a drug-free zone because the meth house was located within 1,000 feet of a child care center. Police seized 44 grams of meth, which is worth more than $4,000, 24 ecstasy pills, one gun and $1,410 in cash.
In another news story, eight people were arrested for allegedly running a meth distribution organization. Along with the nine suspects, police seized three pounds of crystal meth, valued at close to $45,000, seven grams of heroin, one gun, $6,339 in cash and two vehicles. The group is alleged to have been operating out of area motels and homes.
Law enforcement knows that as they apprehend one drug enterprise, others will come in and take their place.
Penalties for the manufacture, delivery, sale or possession of methamphetamines
Under Tenn. Code § 39-17-434, it is an offense for a defendant to knowingly: manufacture, deliver, sell methamphetamine, or possess methamphetamine with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sell it. The violation is punishable as a Class B felony if the amount is more than .05 grams. If convicted, the defendant would have to pay restitution, pay fines ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 or more depending on the amount of product seized, and they can face a minimum 180-day jail sentence of which they will serve 100% of the minimum.
Drug trafficking in methamphetamines is subject to mandatory minimum sentences set by the federal government along with huge fines. Enhancements, which can call for even more harsh sentencing is if the drug operation is located close to a school or playground as was the case with the meth lab bust mentioned earlier. Getting busted with a group of individuals who are engaged in the same criminal enterprise makes the work easier on the government to prove the drug trafficking and conspiracy charges.
When you have been charged with drug crimes as serious as trafficking and conspiracy, you want a Maryville criminal defense attorney who will assert and aggressively protect your rights. For 30 years, Kevin Shepherd has guided clients through the criminal justice system; you can feel confident in our team’s ability to use effective legal strategies to protect your future.
Here at Shepherd & Associates, P.C., we are aggressive about protecting your rights when you have been charged with a crime. You are welcome to schedule an appointment with a skilled Maryville criminal defense attorney by calling 865.225.9655 or filling out our contact form. We’ll fight this together.