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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bristol, Virginia, Man Sentenced In Connection With Meth Lab Explosion

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Jason Anthony Carter, 35, of Bristol, Va., was sentenced on Mar. 3, 2014, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 97 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine, and creating a substantial risk of harm to human life while manufacturing methamphetamine. Carter was also ordered to pay $98,911.13 in restitution for clean-up costs and damage to an apartment building as a result of multiple explosions and a fire caused by a methamphetamine laboratory. /p>

Carter and Amanda Beth Steadman and James Hulon Steadman were indicted in November 2012 for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, possessing equipment, chemicals, materials, and products to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and creating a substantial risk of harm to human life. On Nov. 26, 2013, Amanda Steadman and James Steadman both pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to serve 77 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release. Carter was convicted in October 2013, following a two-day jury trial.

According to the evidence presented at Carter’s trial, Carter and the Steadmans planned to manufacture methamphetamine at an apartment building where the Steadmans resided in Bristol, Tenn., in August 2012. They purchased the supplies needed to manufacture methamphetamine at various businesses in Bristol before returning to the apartment to begin cooking methamphetamine utilizing the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method. Once at the apartment, Carter and the Steadmans prepared the materials to manufacture methamphetamine and began cooking methamphetamine. The evidence further showed that while the methamphetamine was cooking, several explosions occurred, resulting in a fire in the apartment, the evacuation of most of the residents in the apartment building, extensive damage to the apartment building, and serious injuries to Amanda Steadman, including serious burns to over 15% of her body.

“Manufacturing methamphetamine is an inherently dangerous process and can result in explosions, fires, and serious injuries, as evidenced by this case. Our office takes all cases involving the manufacture of methamphetamine very seriously and will continue aggressively prosecute these offenses. Public safety is our highest priority,” stated U.S. Attorney William C. Killian.

This investigation was a joint effort of the Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, DEA, Second Judicial District Drug Task Force, and Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen represented the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015