GREENEVILLE — A 30-year-old Kingsport man involved in a conspiracy to distribute 10,000 oxycodone pills throughout Northeast Tennessee has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Ricky Dwayne Harvey received the 180 month prison sentence on Monday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
In a 28-count indictment filed in May 2013, Harvey and 16 other defendants faced various drug trafficking and money laundering charges in connection with the scheme to distribute thousands of oxycodone pills in Sullivan County.
Harvey, who had a leadership role in the scheme, agreed to plead guilty in August to two counts of the indictment: conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and money laundering.
Harvey faced up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on the charges. Prosecutors recommended 235 months in prison while the defense argued for 140 months.
Between May 2008 and June 2013, Harvey and others obtained the pills from numerous sources, including some in and around the Detroit area, Florida and Georgia.
According to the plea agreement, a majority of the pills were 30 milligrams, some were 80 milligrams, and Harvey would usually obtain 1,000 pills at a time. Some of the pills were obtained from various pain clinics and brought back to East Tennessee for distribution.
Prosecutors say Harvey also sent numerous wire transfers and directed other individuals to send wire transfers to other co-conspirators in Michigan to further advance his oxycodone trafficking.
In a recorded jail conversation, Harvey agreed to supply pills to another person, who would then smuggle the drugs into jail and be distributed. Harvey told law enforcement he began using drugs at an early age, was an addict and his drug dealing was done to support his habit.
Harvey was stopped by law enforcement in June 2013. He produced a fake driver's license, supplied a false date of birth and Social Security number and had members of his family vouch for him.
His true identity was soon verified, and he was arrested on a federal indictment warrant. In explaining his actions, Harvey told the officers that he did his homework in the event he got stopped, just like an officer also does his homework.
District Judge Ronnie Greer received letters of support for Harvey from his grandparents, fiance, pastor and employer.