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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bristol, Tennessee, Couple Sentenced In Connection With Meth Lab Explosion

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – James Hulon Steadman, 41, and Amanda Beth Kiser Steadman, 32, both of Bristol, Tenn., were sentenced on Nov. 26, 2013, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 77 months in prison, to be followed by four years of supervised release, for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and creating a substantial risk of harm to human life while manufacturing methamphetamine. The Steadmans were also ordered to pay $98,911.13 in restitution for clean-up costs and damage to an apartment building as a result of multiple explosions and a fire caused by a methamphetamine laboratory.

The Steadmans and Jason Anthony Carter were indicted in November 2012 for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, possessing equipment, chemicals, materials, and products to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and creating a substantial risk of harm to human life. Carter was convicted on Oct. 31, 2013, following a two-day jury trial, and is scheduled for sentencing on Mar. 3, 2014. He faces a possible sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison and up to $1,500,000 in fines.

According to the evidence presented at Carter’s trial, the Steadmans and Carter planned to manufacture methamphetamine at an apartment building where the Steadmans resided in Bristol, Tenn., in August 2012. They purchased the supplies needed to manufacture methamphetamine at various businesses in Bristol before returning to the apartment to begin cooking methamphetamine utilizing the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method. Once at the apartment, they prepared the materials to manufacture methamphetamine and began cooking methamphetamine. The evidence further reflected that while the methamphetamine was cooking, several explosions occurred, resulting in a fire in the apartment, extensive damage to the apartment building, and serious injuries to Amanda Steadman.

“Manufacturing methamphetamine is an inherently dangerous process and can result in explosions, fires, and serious injuries, as evidenced by this case. Our office takes cases involving the manufacture of methamphetamine very seriously and will continue aggressively prosecute these offenses. Public safety is our highest priority,” stated United States Attorney William C. Killian.

This investigation was a joint effort of the Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, 2nd Judicial District Drug Task Force, and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen represents the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015