May 1, 2013
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Vernon Luke Bowser Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Methamphetamine Conspiracy Operating In Washington County
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - On Monday, Apr. 29, 2013, Vernon Luke Bowser, 46, of Gray, Tenn., was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 240 months in prison for his role in a methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy.
Bowser was one of 20 individuals indicted in January 2012 for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine (meth). Law enforcement agents found meth labs or meth equipment and residue at seven homes in Gray, Jonesborough, and Watauga, Tenn. Currently, 19 of these 20 individuals have been sentenced. Another 11, who were indicted in October 2011 as part of the same meth conspiracy, have also been sentenced. Eighteen additional individuals await sentencing and two others await trial in a third related indictment returned in December 2012.
The conspiracy lasted more than three years and involved the manufacture of more than 1,462 grams of methamphetamine at 16 meth labs including homes, a school bus, barns, and vehicles in Washington, Carter, Greene, and Unicoi counties. The United States forfeited $14,700 in proceeds from the sale of property used to manufacture meth and an additional six acres of property located on Airport Road for the same reason.
In addition to Vernon Luke Bowser, other individuals who have already been sentenced include: Edward Cato, 45; Ricky Birchfield, 42; Lowell Bowser, 46; Dashauna Frye, 38; Scotty Frye, 42; Tim Honeycutt, Sr., 49; Tim (TJ) Honeycutt, Jr., 23; Nancy Lafollette, 52; Renee Martius, 33; David Tucker, 24; and Ronnie Tucker, 44, all 12 of Gray, Tenn. Sentencing has also taken place for the following individuals from Johnson City: James Arnn, 45; Jimmy Hale, 56; Gregg Herron, 42; Brandon Holder, 30; Josh Mabery, 38; Kimberlie Molnar, 44; Andrew Rowland, 41; Danny Wilcox, 37; and Joshua York, 38. The remaining individuals who have been sentenced include: Leroy Bowser, 43, and Linda Woolfrey, 48, of Kingsport; Tavia Harris, 32, of Bristol; Dean Hollifield, 52, and Cindy Waters, 49, of Fall Branch; William Koenig, 35, Teresa Markland, 43, and Bryan Paul, 52, of Jonesborough; and Neil Hensley,38, of Unicoi.
U.S. Attorney William C. Killian stated, “Tennessee has been identified as having one of the highest rates of meth addiction in the United States. Meth has no legitimate uses and it destroys lives, families, and communities. We will continue to devote appropriate resources to rid our communities of the scourge of meth by vigorous prosecution and meaningful prison terms.”
Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to the indictments and subsequent convictions include the Tennessee First Judicial District Drug Task Force (1stDTF), Tennessee Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, Washington County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office Vice Unit, Kingsport Tennessee Police Department, Johnson City Tennessee Police Department, Tennessee National Guard, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Elizabethton Tennessee Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Greene County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Greeneville Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Smith represented the United States.