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Press Release

Cocke County Woman Who Threatened TBI Agent Sentenced To 51 Months In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Kathleen Laws Garrett, 51, of Newport, Tenn., was sentenced on September 19, 2013, to serve 51 months in prison, by the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge. Garrett pleaded guilty to a May 2013 federal indictment charging her and her son, Clayton Carroll Owenby, with threatening to retaliate against a witness.

Garrett’s son, Owenby, had been previously charged in an oxycodone distribution conspiracy, which involved nine individuals obtaining prescriptions for oxycodone from various pain clinics and physicians across the state of Tennessee and then redistributing the drug in the Eastern District of Tennessee. Owenby pleaded guilty to the drug distribution conspiracy and admitted that he obtained 5,718 total dose units (totaling 176,240 milligrams) of oxycodone from multiple physicians.

While in federal custody during the pendency of his drug case, Owenby made numerous phone calls to his mother, Garrett, wherein he threated to physically retaliate against the lead case agent and his family. Garrett also made numerous threats to physically retaliate against the lead case agent and his family as well. Garrett admitted to making these threats in response to the agent’s role in the investigation concerning her son. Owenby also pleaded guilty to threatening to retaliate against a witness and was sentenced on September 5, 2013.

“This sentence reflects that threats of physical harm against agents involved in federal investigations will not be tolerated. Such threats are totally unacceptable and will be aggressively prosecuted by this office,” said U. S. Attorney William C. Killian.

This case is the result of a joint investigation by the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen represented the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015