Judge hands down prison time for meth manufacturers

Jeff Bobo • Feb 28, 2007 at 10:57 AM

ROGERSVILLE - Third Judicial District Circuit Judge John Dugger closed out the February criminal court session last week by hearing three guilty pleas and handing out two heavy prison sentences for meth manufacturing.

Lloyd Franklin Denim Jr., 37, of Sneedville, was arrested twice in April 2005 for methamphetamine manufacturing.

Denim was sentenced to 16 years in prison last Wednesday and fined a total of $8,300 related to those two arrests. He pleaded guilty to initiating the process of manufacturing meth, two counts of promoting the manufacture of meth, manufacturing meth, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He served jail time in Hancock County and Jefferson County for drug possession before being returned to Hawkins County to answer those 2005 charges.

Both 2005 arrests took place at the residence of his brother at 998 Big Hill Road in Mooresburg. The first was a meth raid conducted at that residence on April 2 and involved seven arrests.

In the second arrest on April 24 deputies were actually intending to serve Denim with a probation violation arrest warrant from Jefferson County when they found him in possession of another meth lab.

Last June, Hawkins County deputies were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for failure to pay child support on William Thomas Burton, 30, 106 Prices Grove Road, Rogersville, when they found meth lab components on Burton's porch.

Last Wednesday, Burton was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined $2,750 in exchange for guilty pleas to manufacturing meth, felony evading arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving on a revoked license fifth offense.

Burton was not home when deputies arrived with the warrant, and detectives with the Hawkins County Narcotics Unit obtained a search warrant and seized the lab. Burton arrived home in a vehicle while deputies were at his residence but refused orders to stop.

Burton led deputies on a 16-mile vehicle pursuit toward Bulls Gap before being stopped by a moving train on the Norfolk Southern Railroad. He escaped by jumping between two moving railroad cars but was later apprehended in Greene County.

Also sentenced last Wednesday was Ricardo Lopez, 46, 3612 Watterson St., Kingsport, who was initially charged with one count of aggravated assault for allegedly cutting his wife, Lisa Lauber, on the head and the leg with wire cutters on July 5, 2005.

On Wednesday, Lopez was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $500 in exchange for a guilty plea to the reduced charge of attempted aggravated assault.

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