David Byron Jones received the 180-month prison sentence in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Tuesday. Jones pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of meth. He faced 20 years to life in prison.
In the plea agreement, Jones admitted to being responsible for distributing at least 1.5 kilograms but less than 4.5 kilograms of actual meth. Jones said his meth supplier was a Mexican man known as Flacco and when he visited his supplier’s warehouse in Georgia, he saw 55-gallon drums of meth along with armed guards.
Jones and 17 codefendants (most of whom live in Hawkins County) were charged in July of last year on a 49-count indictment. The charges include:
— Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine
— Possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine (7 counts)
— Distribution of methamphetamine (34 counts)
— Use of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense (4 counts)
— Being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm (2 counts)
Five of Jones’ codefendants have already been sentenced. The other 12 have all agreed to plead guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
According to court records, the FBI, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office and the 3rd Judicial District Drug Task Force began an investigation in 2016 of an evolving meth distribution network in Hawkins County.
This organization would obtain kilos of meth from transnational criminal organizations and other meth suppliers inside and outside the state of Tennessee. Prosecutors say the meth would typically flow into our region from Jones and then be distributed down the supply chain by the other codefendants.