Knoxville resident charged with the distribution of fentanyl and heroin, resulting in overdose deaths of two
Knoxville, Tenn. – On October 16, 2019, a federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a two- count indictment against Kevin L. Catlett, 45, of Knoxville, Tennessee.
The indictment, on file with the U.S. District Court, alleges that Kevin L. Catlett distributed a quantity of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance that resulted in the death of another on September 6, 2018. The indictment also charged Catlett with distributed a quantity of a mixture and substance containing fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance that resulted in the death of another on November 13, 2018.
If convicted of distribution of controlled substances, the defendant faces a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment for each count, and, if the deaths resulted from the use of the substance, the penalty would increase to a mandatory term of imprisonment of at least 20 years and up to life in prison, at least three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $1,000,000, any applicable forfeiture, and a $100 special assessment.
The investigation was conducted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Roane County Sheriff’s Office. Leading up to the indictment, these organizations partnered with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Appalachian HIDTA’s Drug Related Death Task Force, and the Knox County Regional Forensics Center. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent N. Jones will represent the United States.
Today, the United States faces an unprecedented drug epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. Many of these deaths are attributed to the increased abuse of potent and dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl. These charges are the result of investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) under the Attorney General-led Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS)/Special Operations Division (SOD) Project Clean Sweep. This initiative seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in “hot spot” areas previously identified by the Attorney General of the United States, thereby reducing drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths, and identify wholesale distribution networks and sources of supply operating nationally and internationally.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case has been set for trial on January 7, 2020.