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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cocke County Drug Dealer Who Threatened TBI Agent Sentenced To 135 Months In Federal Prison

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Clayton Carroll Owenby, 45, of Newport, Tenn., was sentenced on September 5, 2013, to serve 135 months in prison, by the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge. Owenby pleaded guilty to a March 2013 federal indictment charging him and nine others with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Additionally, Owenby pleaded guilty to a separate federal indictment, filed in May 2013, charging him with threatening to retaliate against a witness.

The conspiracy for which Owenby was convicted of being a part, involved conspirators obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone from various pain clinics and physicians across the state of Tennessee and then redistributing the drug in the Eastern District of Tennessee. Owenby admitted that he obtained 5,718 total dose units (totaling 176,240 milligrams) of oxycodone from multiple physicians.

While in federal custody during the pendency of his drug case, Owenby made numerous phone calls to his mother, Kathleen Garrett, wherein he threated to physically retaliate against the lead case agent and his family. Owenby admitted to making these threats in response to the agent’s role in the investigation. Garrett also pleaded guilty to threatening to retaliate against a witness and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 19, 2013.

“This sentence reflects, not only the defendant’s serious original crime, but the totally unacceptable threats of physical harm to the federal agent and his family,” said U. S. Attorney William C. Killian.

This case is the result of a joint investigation by the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen is representing the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015