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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


BUSINESS OWNER INDICTED FOR METHAMPHETAMINE PRODUCTION

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn - A federal grand jury in Chattanooga returned a multi-count indictment on April 27, 2010, against Eugene Allen Trent, 50, of Lenoir City, Tennessee. Trent is the proprietor of the Carriage Hill Feed Store in Lenoir City. The indictment charges Trent with conspiring to manufacture more than five-hundred grams of methamphetamine, conspiring to distribute iodine knowing or having reasonable cause to believe it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, and eight counts of distribution iodine knowing or having reasonable cause to believe it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

The defendant is scheduled to appear in court on April 30, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee in Chattanooga. A trial date has yet to be set.

If convicted on the methamphetamine conspiracy charge, the defendant faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison up to a maximum of life, five years of supervised release, and a fine of $4,000,000, and up to ten years in prison on each of the iodine charges.

United States Attorney James R. "Russ" Dedrick applauds the efforts of this multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency investigation. Those agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department, the Roane County Sheriff’s Department, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Meth Task Force. The investigation has occurred over the past year and it has involved numerous undercover purchases, two federal search warrants, numerous traffic stops, and other investigation techniques developed by the Tennessee Meth Task Force. The indictment, which remains sealed, also includes numerous other individuals in the Eastern District of Tennessee who have been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and other related violations. United States Attorney Dedrick stated that there has been a resurgence of methamphetamine manufacturing in the Eastern District of Tennessee and the cooperative spirit of these sheriffs’ departments and other agencies is an excellent example of the type of effort needed to combat this very serious problem.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry H. Piper will represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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