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May 2, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Four Newport Residents Plead Guilty in Cocaine Base ("Crack") Conspiracy

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Robert Randall “Peanut” Webb , 61, “Jimmy” Brickner, 48, Margo Gray, 28, and Chelsea Meigs, 23, all of Newport, Tenn., pleaded guilty on May 1, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”).

Sentencing is set for August 16, 2012. All four defendants will remain in federal custody until their sentencing hearings. Webb faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, a fine of $10 million dollars, a term of supervised release of at least five years to life, a mandatory assessment of $100, and forfeiture. Brickner, Gray, and Meigs each face a minimum of 20 years to life in prison, a fine of $20 million dollars, a term of supervised release of at least 10 years to life, and a mandatory assessment of $100.

Webb, Brickner, Gray, and Meigs admitted to using a residence located in Newport, Tenn., to conduct hundreds of crack cocaine purchases and sales from early January 2011 until February 14, 2012. They also sold crack cocaine at other locations including a business in Jefferson County, Tenn.

On February 14, 2012, an 11-count indictment was returned against Webb, Brickner, Gray, and Meigs by a federal grand jury sitting in Greeneville, Tenn. This indictment and today's guilty pleas were the results of an ongoing investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Newport Police Department, and Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force. Helen Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney, represented the United States.

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