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Justice News

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Erwin Residents Sentenced For Conspiracy To Manufacture Methamphetamine

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Four individuals involved in a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine were sentenced on Oct. 23, 2013, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge. Tim Smith, 29, of Erwin, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 92 months in prison. Crystal Williams, 40, of Erwin, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 90 months in prison. Misty Potter, 36, of Erwin, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 66 months in prison. Doug Gaskins, 53, of Erwin, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 54 months in prison.

Each of these individuals pleaded guilty to a March 2013 federal indictment charging a total of 25 individuals with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Three additional separate but related conspiracies to manufacture methamphetamine cases from in and around the Erwin area were also recently prosecuted in U.S. District Court, resulting in the conviction of a total of 52 individuals. Sentencing is currently pending for approximately 17 of these individuals involved in these conspiracies.

The methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy that these individuals 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. 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 these individuals 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 joint cooperation of the law enforcement agencies who worked the investigation. “I appreciate the efforts of all the law enforcement agencies coming together to rid this community of a large number of methamphetamine makers and users.”

Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal said that he appreciates everyone’s great effort in combating the methamphetamine problem that targets our area. “Law enforcement working together with the caring people of the community…we are all making a difference!” said Graybeal.

Sheriff Mike Hensley said, “This cooperative effort has dramatically reduced the overall drug problem in Unicoi County. We hope that these harsh sentences will serve as a deterrent for other individuals that are involved with manufacturing methamphetamine. Everyone involved in this investigation has done an extraordinary job to bring this to pass.”

Updated March 18, 2015