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Reputed Hawkins County drug kingpin sentenced to 150 months

April 26th, 2013 12:16 am by Jeff Bobo

Reputed Hawkins  County drug kingpin  sentenced to 150 months

JAMES LIGHT

GREENEVILLE — Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson credited a reduction in drug overdose deaths in the Beech Creek community of Hawkins County to a massive federal drug trafficking investigation that led to indictments and arrests last July.


On Thursday, James Light, 65, of Rogersville — one of the reputed ringleaders of a Beech Creek drug trafficking syndicate — was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 150 months in prison to be followed by four years of supervised released.


Light pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver 500 grams or more of cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to deliver oxycodone.


Lawson said that following a series of federal drug indictments and arrests in July of 2012 which included Light and 31 other defendants — many of whom were from the Beech Creek area south of Rogersville — the drug overdose rate in Beech Creek has dropped off to almost nothing.


Light is the 14th defendant sentenced to federal prison in this drug investigation since February.


Charles Thomas Laing, 30, of Rogersville, was sentenced on March 4 to 157 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and money laundering.


Laing, a part-time Beech Creek resident, opened the Liberty Wellness Pain Clinic in Norcross, Ga., in 2010 and began using the clinic to obtain oxycodone for distribution in East Tennessee. In April 2012, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Georgia raided the clinic and shut it down.


The investigation was initiated by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.


Also participating in the three-year investigation were the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Second Judicial Drug Task Force, Kingsport Police Department, Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn L. Hebets prosecuted the cases.


Overall the investigation netted authorities more than 300 pounds of cocaine, more than 16,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 20,000 oxycodone pills and $2.5 million in cash.


Other federal prison sentences that have resulted from this investigation to date include:


• Michael L. Dykes, 51, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to 37 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Lorne L. Loucel, 32, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to 108 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Daniel L. Dykes, 29, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to 37 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Christy D. Dykes, 32, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to 40 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Christy R. Seay, 39, of Greeneville, who was sentenced to 57 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Ella Maria Camacho Garcia, 30, of Burlington, N.C., who was sentenced to 78 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. She also pleaded guilty to money laundering and received a money judgment in the amount of $815,000.


• Jonathan L. Light, 24, of Kingsport, who was sentenced to 84 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Levi D. Love, 24, of Kingsport, who was sentenced to 37 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Jessica R. Bernard, 23, of Greeneville, who was sentenced to 37 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Amanda D. Bernard, 23, of Afton, Tenn., who was sentenced to 37 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Shandeeda M. Compton, 31, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to 63 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone pills.


• Brock A. Lawson, 26, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to 118 months for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana.


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