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June 13, 2013

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


Joseph Banner Sentenced To 170 Months In Prison For Participating In A Conspiracy To Manufacture Methamphetamine

GREENEVILLE, Tenn - Joseph Banner, 34, of Erwin, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 170 months in prison, by the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge. Banner pleaded guilty to a federal indictment which was filed in September 2012, charging Banner and 20 others with Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine. All have been convicted and sentenced to serve time in federal prison. Additional separate but related conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine cases are currently being prosecuted in federal court.

The methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy that Banner admitted to being a part of involved a network of overlapping associates that relied on coordinated efforts to procure methamphetamine precursors, which they then used to make methamphetamine using a "shake and bake" manufacturing method. Banner was a prolific methamphetamine cook and the remnants of numerous cooks were recovered by law enforcement from the property surrounding his residence. The drugs the conspirators were responsible for making were being distributed both for profit and for use by people within the conspiracy.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Banner was the result of an ongoing and collaborative investigation conducted by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Erwin Police 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 cooperation of the law enforcement agencies who worked the investigation. “It took a joint effort by all agencies involved to cause this result. I want to commend all those agencies and individuals who are working together to combat the home grown methamphetamine manufacturing rings that plague our communities."

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