Federal Jury Convicts Jeffrey Scott Braden Of Meth Manufacturing Conspiracy Charge And Related Offenses
Braden was the only defendant of 42 indicted to go to trial
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a three-day trial in U.S. District Court, Knoxville, a jury convicted Jeffrey Scott Braden of Lake City, Tenn., of conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of equipment, chemicals, products and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of ammunition by a previously convicted felon. Braden was one of 42 individuals indicted in the meth manufacturing conspiracy, and the indictment followed a long-term investigation designed to address the fact that Anderson County was the leading county in the state of Tennessee in meth lab seizures. Thirty-eight other individuals have pleaded guilty, two others have signed plea agreements which are on file with the court, and one defendant remains a fugitive. The initiative was named “Operation Meth-odical Destruction.”
Sentencing is set for 2:00 p.m., Feb. 20, 2014, in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn., before The Honorable Judge Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge. Braden faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole because he has several prior felony drug convictions.
The evidence presented at trial included Braden’s confessions to repeatedly manufacturing methamphetamine, testimony about seized chemicals and meth lab components in which Braden was a “cook,” testimony of co-conspirators, and proof of his prior criminal history as a convicted felon.
After the verdict was returned, U.S. Attorney William Killian said, “There was a large-scale meth manufacturing problem in Anderson County, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies teamed up to combat it. It has been addressed. This conviction and the life sentence which Braden faces serves as a lesson to anyone in this district that serious punishment awaits those who repeatedly manufacture methamphetamine.”
Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to the indictment and the subsequent conviction of Braden included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Lewen, Jr., represented the United States at trial.