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Press Release

Knoxville Resident Charged With Methamphetamine and Fentanyl Conspiracy Resulting in At Least One Overdose Death

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On March 6, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Ricky Davis, 44 of Knoxville, Tennessee, for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl analogues resulting in the death of at least one person.  Davis appeared in court on March 7, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment.  He was ordered to be held in custody pending a formal detention hearing. 

Trial has been set for May 8, 2018, before the Honorable Pamela L. Reeves, U.S. District Court Judge. If convicted, Davis faces life in prison and fines of up to $20,000,000.

In addition to the conspiracy charge referenced above, the indictment alleges that Davis distributed a quantity of methamphetamine and fentanyl analogues that resulted in the death of at least one person, an additional distribution of methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey said, “As the opioid crisis continues, cheaper and more powerful opioid drugs, such as fentanyl, are increasingly being sought by those who became addicted to prescription opioids.  These fentanyl drugs are especially deadly, whether taken alone or with other narcotics such as methamphetamine.  Recent statistics provided by the AHIDTA Drug Related Death Task Force show that three to four individuals die from overdoses every week in the city of Knoxville alone. This must stop.  My office will prosecute aggressively the drug dealers who market this deadly poison on our streets.” 

“We appreciate the collaborative team effort that went into this investigation that resulted in the charges in this case,” said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch. “The deaths associated with the opioid crisis continue to rise and we must hold those responsible for dealing these drugs accountable for their actions.  Fentanyl and its derivatives are being combined in all drugs on the street and it is killing too many in our community and families are devastated.  The message to the drug dealers should be clear, we will hold you accountable.  We appreciate the full support of the U.S. Attorney in this effort,” added Chief Rausch.                                                                       

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the Knoxville Police Department (KPD) and Appalachia HIDTA Drug Related Death Task Force.  The task force includes members of the KPD, Drug Enforcement Administration, Knox County District Attorney’s Office, and Regional Forensic Center. Other components of the KPD, including members of the Violent Crimes Unit and the Patrol Division, as well as other agents of the DEA, also participated in the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Stone will represent the United States in court proceedings. 

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.


Sharry Dedman-Beard
Public Information Officer

Updated March 9, 2018