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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gregory Allen Rhea Sentenced To Serve 288 Months In Prison For Conspiring To Distribute Oxycodone And Methamphetamine

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Gregory Allen Rhea, 38, of Morristown, Tenn., was sentenced on Oct. 27, 2014, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 288 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute oxycodone and methamphetamine, maintaining a place for the purpose of distributing controlled substances, and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Upon his release from prison, Rhea will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for four years. There is no parole in the federal system. Rhea was also ordered to forfeit to the United States $75,100 and also pay a money judgment in the amount of $1,200,000, which represents the proceeds of his drug trafficking offenses.

In October 2012, Rhea and 11 others were named in an 18-count indictment charging them with drug trafficking of oxycodone, oxymorphone, and methamphetamine, firearms violations, and money laundering. The charges were the result of a lengthy investigation of individuals who traveled to Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia to obtain oxycodone from pain clinics and other illegal drugs to distribute throughout eastern Tennessee. All 12 charged in the indictment have now been convicted and sentenced.

According to his plea agreement, Rhea admitted that he organized trips to pain clinics in Florida and Tennessee to obtain oxycodone to distribute in the Eastern District of Tennessee. He also admitted that he sponsored others to travel to these clinics and, in exchange, received a portion of the oxycodone tablets prescribed to each individual. Additionally, Rhea admitted that he had directed others to travel to Georgia to obtain methamphetamine to distribute in the Eastern District of Tennessee. During the course of the conspiracy, he admitted that he was responsible for obtaining and distributing over 778,000 milligrams of oxycodone (the equivalent of nearly 26,000 dose units of 30 milligram oxycodone tablets) and 45 grams of methamphetamine.

In October 2012, Rhea was arrested at his residence in Morristown where he and co-defendant Johnny Neeley were found barricaded inside a room which contained oxycodone, oxymorphone, and three firearms. Evidence presented at Rhea’s sentencing hearing demonstrated that he continued to direct the activities of others involved in this conspiracy after his arrest by directing another individual to retrieve methamphetamine from his residence and destroy it.

This lengthy investigation was the result of the collaborative efforts of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Morristown Police Department, and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Kerney-Quillen represented the United States.

Updated March 18, 2015