Leonard Wayne Mullinax, 48, Gaffney, S.C., is accused of being the main supplier for a network of dealers in Hawkins County.
Also indicted is Edward Ray “Eddie” Walters, 47, Surgoinsville, who was allegedly supplied by Mullinax, and in turn allegedly distributed meth to a network of street level dealers.
Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told the Times News Friday that his deputies recently participated with other state, federal and local officers in a raid on Mullinax’s residence, where they seized a kilogram of meth, several firearms and an unspecified amount of cash.
Another 15 people including Walters were arrested in a roundup earlier this week and are being held in Greeneville.
“This case is actually a spinoff from the 2017 federal meth case we had,” Lawson said. “A lot of the defendants in these new indictments were suspects in that original investigation, but we didn’t have enough evidence to charge them at that time. My Narcotics Unit kept investigating with the full cooperation of federal authorities, and we’ve been doing undercover buys, surveillance and intelligence gathering leading up to this second round of indictments.”
In addition to Mullinax and Walters, those included in this round of indictments are Jamie Nicole Wilson, 41, Surgoinsville; Michael James Walters, 44, Church Hill; Corey Aaron Morelock, 29, Surgoinsville; Amber Lynn Hall, 29, Surgoinsville; Matthew Glenn Russell, 26, Rogersville; Christopher Lee Pyles, 43, Rogersville; Destiny Lashay Lawson, 25, Rogersville; Megan Rose Moore, 39, Rogersville; Matthew Jacob Keirsey, 23, Rogersville; Jason Ronald Burchfield, 39, Rogersville; Beverly Ann Brooks, 33, Kingsport; Jimmy Lee Gray, 35, Kingsport; Jacob Donald Meyers, 25, Church Hill; and Jeannie Michelle Bowman, 45, Surgoinsville.
The indictments on file with the U.S. District Court in Greeneville allege that each of these individuals was involved in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of meth in the Eastern District of Tennessee and elsewhere.
Eddie Walters, Morelock, Hall, Russell, Bowman, Wilson, Meyers, and Michael Walters are also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Eddie Walters, Russell, and Bowman are each charged with an additional count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The indictment also alleges other charges related to the distribution and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine as well as the unlawful possession of firearms and money laundering.
If convicted on the meth conspiracy charge, each faces a minimum mandatory prison term of at least 10 years and up to life; at least five years of supervised release; a fine of up to $10 million; and an additional five years to life for the gun charges.
The indictments were the product of a partnership between the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department; Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department; Third Judicial Drug Task Force; Cherokee County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Department; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Postal Inspector; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Wayne Taylor will represent the United States in court proceedings.
Meth trafficking ring allegedly sold a kilo or more in Hawkins every week
Hawkins meth dealer sentenced to 17 years in federal prison