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Press Release

Greene County Area Meth Traffickers Sentenced

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

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On July 24, 2023, Steven Shelton, 39, of Greeneville, Tennessee, was sentenced to 168 months’ imprisonment and Shannon Crittenden, 45, of Mosheim, Tennessee was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, United States District Judge, in the United States District Court at Greeneville.  Co-defendant Arthur Tidwell, 46, of Greeneville, was previously sentenced to 180 months in prison on June 26, 2023.

As part of the plea agreements filed with the court Shelton and Crittenden both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine (actual), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846.  Tidwell plead guilty to possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine (actual), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A). 

According to court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, all three defendants were involved in distributing methamphetamine in and around the Greeneville area.  Tidwell was traffic stopped in Washington County by the Tennessee Highway Patrol and caught with a significant quantity of methamphetamine, was released on bond, and was then arrested just over a month later in Greeneville with another large quantity of methamphetamine.  Shelton and Crittenden sold methamphetamine to an individual working with law enforcement on five occasions, which led to a search warrant being executed at Shelton’s Greeneville residence where a large quantity of methamphetamine was found.  The investigation revealed that Tidwell was supplying Shelton with methamphetamine, who was in turn supplying others, including Crittenden. 

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to targeting the ongoing threat to our communities from drug traffickers who bring large quantities of high-purity methamphetamine into our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who seek to profit from flooding our communities with dangerous drugs will face justice.”

This sentencing was the culmination of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the joint investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent convictions in this case, included the Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Greeneville Police Department, Johnson City Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Numerous agencies from the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Christian Lampe represented the United States.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Information Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated July 24, 2023

Drug Trafficking