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July 15, 2013

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Husband And Wife Sentenced For Participating In Conspiracy To Manufacture Methmaphetamine

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Richie Barnett, 47 and Ruth Barnett, 44, of Erwin, Tenn., were sentenced on August 5, 2013, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge, for their roles in a methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy. Richie Barnett was sentenced to serve 135 months in prison and Ruth Barnett was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison. Both Barnetts pleaded guilty to a November 2012 federal indictment charging them with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

The Barnetts conspired to manufacture methamphetamine using a “shake-and-bake” process. Richie Barnett was the primary methamphetamine cook. He admitted to cooking methamphetamine over 40 times. Both individuals obtained equipment and precursors used in the manufacture process. Each Barnett received a sentencing enhancement for an infant child being placed at risk of harm as the result of being present at their residence while a portion of a methamphetamine manufacturing process was taking place.

The indictment and subsequent convictions of the Barnetts were the results of an ongoing and collaborative investigation conducted by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Erwin Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, First Judicial District Drug Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Christian Lampe represented the United States.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian commended the hard work and joint cooperation of the law enforcement agencies who worked on the investigation. “I appreciate the diligent efforts by all agencies involved to bring this and related conspiracies to an end. They are to be commended for their dedication to combatting the many harmful effects that methamphetamine has on our communities.”

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