'Chicken Head Mafia' member gets 20 years for meth trafficking

Jeff Bobo • Mar 17, 2017 at 10:00 PM

GREENEVILLE — A key member of the Hawkins County-based “Chicken Head Mafia” meth trafficking syndicate had his wings clipped Thursday by U.S. District Judge R. Leon Jordon, who sentenced him to 20 years in a federal penitentiary.

Steven Dwight “Rabbit” Hopkins, 46, of Mooresburg, reportedly admitted to federal authorities that he had been cooking meth since 2000 and that he was responsible for at least 1.5 kilograms of meth ($150,000 street value), but less than 4.5 kilograms of meth ($450,000) street value).

Hopkins’ 20 year sentence is the result of an ongoing federal investigation targeting him and other members of the Chicken Head Mafia.

According to a press release issued Friday by U.S. Attorney Nancy Stallard-Harr, in August of 2014 Hopkins was arrested following a traffic stop in Whitley County, Ga., while on his way to obtain a quarter-pound of meth as a representative of the group.

According to sources in law enforcement, the self-named Chicken Head Mafia consisted of a group involved in trafficking meth and other narcotics, mainly in Hamblen and Hawkins counties.

According to police, a slang term for newly cooked powder meth is “chicken feed.”

Police said the group gave itself the name as an inside joke.

Hopkins and other members of the Chicken Head Mafia reportedly looked out for and protected one another during their meth trafficking conspiracy.

Hopkins, a member of the Copperhead Motorcycle Club, admitted that he obtained eight to 10 ounces of meth per week from co-defendant Rick Munsey, 48. Munsey is listed as a resident of Del Rio, Tenn., but police say he spent most of his time in Mooresburg.

Authorities said Hopkins admitted to selling meth to a large customer base in and around Hamblen County.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office, Morristown Police Department, Third and Fourth District Judicial Drug Task Forces. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.                              

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